Saturday, January 27, 2007

...and it couldn't come fast enough

A serious discussion on coaches' salaries that is.
As I mentioned yesterday, the NCAA is looking into ways to control the exponential increases in coaches' salaries that account for a large chunk of athletic department budgets; salaries that cannot be sustained, usually, under current athletic department configurations and thus lead to cuts of both women's and men's teams. Cuts, that Dr. Christine Grant noted, have nothing to do with Title IX but rather poor financial management.
This point could not be clearer when looking at the case of Rutgers University. Rutgers has opted to cut 6 athletic teams this year. It is also giving "hefty raises" to its football coaches (plural because football has many coaches). Rutgers president Richard McCormick is not accepting his raise this year--a year where the New Jersey state university is trying to deal with an $80 million budget shortfall.
The athletic director defends the raises noting Rutgers football had a successful year, (comparatively, I would add) making it to a bowl game (don't even get me started on the proliferation of bowl games and what counts as a successful season needed to reach one). He believes the football program will become self-supporting in one year. This sentiment is actually not echoed by many experts who say that a football program has to prove its ability to be successful over time before it will see any financial gains.
But really, how much the football team brings in should not matter because we are talking about an institution of higher education--a non-profit. It's not supposed to place greater value on the departments or programs that bring in more money. Emphasis should be on opportunities and creating a well-rounded student. The money that football brings in with its success should be used to create or enhance the opportunities an institution offers--not just enhance the pockets of the coaches.

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