As Universities Cut Their Student/Faculty Budgets, College Football Coaches Get a 16% Pay Raise

Just a few years ago (six to be exact), there were 42 college football coaches earning over a million dollars per year.  Now, there are 42 earning over  $2 million.   Everyone is getting wealthier from college sports except for athletes and their families, who are left off the gravy train.

This year, the average annual salary of college football coaches at major programs has risen to $1.64 million per year.  This is a 12% increase from last year, far greater than the rate of inflation.  But the number is not much different from the increases in tuition and student loans needed in order for students to compensate expensive coaching staffs.

The highest-paid coach in the country is Nick Saban at The University of Alabama.  Saban earns $5.5 million per year.  Mack Brown at Texas earns $5.4 million per year.  These massive pay increases for football coaches comes at a time when universities are reducing their spending on instructional learning at many public institutions.

Steve Spurrier coaches South Carolina, the state’s other FBS school, and he makes nearly $3.6 million, including a raise of $750,000 since last season. How’d he get that raise? He asked for it.

Spurrier doesn’t bother with an agent — he used to have one but changed his mind after paying a commission one year — because he figures there’s no real need to negotiate.

“I’m not going to go anywhere,” Spurrier explains, and “if you’re negotiating, that means you’ve got somebody else bidding on you. But our university president here is such a wonderful guy. He just wants to do what’s fair and what’s right. … I just sort of penciled myself in about No. 6 out of 12 coaches in the SEC and he said, ‘That looks fair to me.'”

Spurrier is actually the third-highest paid in the Southeastern Conference, behind Alabama’s Nick Saban and LSU’s Les Miles.

South Carolina President Harris Pastides declined comment through a spokesman.

Swinney figures Spurrier is worth every penny: “He’s paid his dues. Coach Spurrier’s been a winner a long time. He’s won a national championship and he’s one of the best coaches out there. I hope 25 years from now, I’m still coaching.”

Spurrier says South Carolina offered him $1.5 million when he came in 2005, but, “I said, ‘Let me take $1.25 (million) and let me spend 250 grand on assistant coaches … So I’m one of the few coaches that took less than was offered.”

Today, his assistants make a little more than $2.4 million cumulatively, far below Clemson’s. First-year defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward is the highest paid at $550,000. He replaced Ellis Johnson, who made $700,000 last season.

“I actually call the plays and pretty much am the offensive coordinator here, although I’ve got a couple of co-coordinators,” Spurrier says. “So, you might say, ‘Well, he’s the head coach and the offensive coordinator. What’s that worth?'” He chuckles.




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  1. The American economic symbol is the pyramid. The masses in this case, which are the athlete are at the bottom. the Coaches are on the point. It’s not too many people that can stand up there? the symbol needs to be changed. why not a square? It’s equal on both sides.

  2. These are no more than 21st-century-slave plantations. This is a well thought-out scam to generate revenue off the backs of the majority of black athletes–only difference from slavery being, it is not forced. Athletes now are being sold false hopes (mental slavery) of making it to the pros, which we all know won’t happen. These athletes should form a national boycott; we need to light a fire under these institutions of slavery asses.

    Sad thing about it is, most of these athletes have their academic load dumbed down in order to satisfy their demanding schedules. Most will end up going back to the hood as used-to-be athletes. They will have nothing to fall back on, but a story to tell on the street corners. How many of us have witnessed that?

    The NCAA is still operating under the amateur athlete banner [yea, right]; yet, the coaches aren’t making amateur salaries. These aren’t amateurs, and they know this bull****. These boys are being used to finance these crackers lavish lifestyles, and send their kids to elite schools.

    Now, I know their are a few whites who read this site, and who will debunk my perspective, or take a white-persons perspective. But, keep in mind, for those white athletes, who, themselves participate in college sports, they’re probably going to reap the benefits of slavery in the form of generational wealth. You know, the G.I. Bill, stolen land, and your mere whiteness, to name a few affirmative action policies (well, no quite named that back then).

    I hope these athletes wake up and demand more than false hopes, and look at the bigger picture. Otherwise, we need to stop complaining about the [white man/race]. They are looking out for themselves. Their children, their children’s children. We need to look out for ours.

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