So here's an interesting twist on the current economic situation--you know, the one that is affecting almost every state budget, including Connecticut. UConn men's basketball coach Jim Calhoun gets paid $1.7 million a year making him the highest paid state employee in Connecticut.
And a reporter called him on it the other day in a post-game press conference and Calhoun was not too pleased with the line of questioning. (See You Tube video below.)
There is talk every once in a while (usually around the time that a new million dollar plus contract gets negotiated) about the amount of money coaches make but this seems to be a new lens through which to look at the situation.
Not a lens Calhoun was interested in a taking a look through. After he got over his initial lackluster defense (just shut up!) he noted that they bring in $12 million to the university. Of course he meant the combined basketball program. Men's basketball brings in $7.3 million. And its expenses are $2.3 million. In other words, it earns it place.
But is that really the debate? Because Calhoun's program brings in more than it costs, does that merit his salary? After all, a university is supposed to be a non-profit. That philosophy would seem to suggest that it shouldn't matter how much a program earns. After all when a student or students come to the university specifically to study under a certain professor, that professor doesn't go about saying "look how much I make for the university."
Of course athletics lives by different rules and that is what this debate really centers on; the different standards and, of course, the different expectations.