March Madness!
March 21, 2007 9:05 PM   Subscribe

March Madness Are NCAA basketball coaches paid more than they deserve? Check out what universities are paying per win, which coaches have been underpaid and which overpaid during the 2006-2007 season. Should some of these coaches be MAD?!? Should students or parents if this is where their tuition is headed?
posted by crunchee (22 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Hey, awesome, this was a shameless self-link. -- cortex



 
I never realized that the top coaches got paid over a million dollars.
posted by Falconetti at 9:11 PM on March 21, 2007


My impression was that top coaches made money for schools through revenue from TV rights to tournament games. Whether schools should have this sort of athletics arrangement at all is an open question, I suppose, but I don't think students and parents mind the good coaches making what they're worth to the school.
posted by Richard Daly at 9:14 PM on March 21, 2007


This is bullshit. The "most overpaid" coach is Jim Calhoun who is working off a loss of 5 players to the NBA. Why not take a look at his record which includes 700+ wins, a league record 16 big east championships, 2 national championships, big east coach of the year 4 times (league record). Oh, and by the why, he's in the Naismith Hall of Fame.

Ignoring the facts that winning coaches bring in fans and cash, these coaches should at least be analyzed based on their past performance, not just on one year's.
posted by null terminated at 9:17 PM on March 21, 2007


Should students or parents if this is where their tuition is headed?

Heh. I have a little more sympathy for the taxpayers than I do the students and parents.
posted by Kwantsar at 9:19 PM on March 21, 2007


The meagerness of this contract surprises me, although he has yet to win a championship.
North Carolina Williams, Roy $496,844
posted by Cranberry at 9:41 PM on March 21, 2007


We must have different definitions of "meager".
posted by maxwelton at 9:43 PM on March 21, 2007


Roy Williams won the title two years ago, i believe.

And I think the coaches should all be working for free- in keeping with the spirit of exploitation amateurism that makes the college game so great.
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:49 PM on March 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


For most schools, what a coach makes has little to no effect on tuition. Athletic departments are effectively self-sustaining enterprises.

Having good athletic teams increases a school's publicity and cache nationally. There's anecdotal evidence that it also increases the quality of students, though that's never really been proven. It does increase the number of undergraduate applicants -- Colorado's rose the year after they won the football national championship. It does seem like a waste of money if the only lasting benefit is advertising, Nobel winners don't mean as much to Americans as #1 draft picks.

That said, I love March Madness and college football season.
posted by dw at 9:53 PM on March 21, 2007


It's really hard to evaluate the costs and benefits of these huge athletic programs because both dimensions are so multi-faceted. There's cash, possible impact on the educational environment, "athletes behaving badly"-type stories and any underlying hooliganism, entertainment value, alumni donations, plus or minus everything upthread and tons of other shit.

I've got opinions, too, but they're pure prejudice.
posted by grobstein at 10:17 PM on March 21, 2007


HeeHee...always funny to read non-sports fans discussing sports.

Roy Williams makes far, far more than $496,000 a year. Most college coaches make signifcant money (often guaranteed) from shoe contracts, TV shows and basketball camps and other sources (re: sometimes boosters and side-deals). My guess is that 496K is just the figure on the books for his salary and he actually makes over twice that easily. But why is that so shocking, they work just as hard or harder than their pro coach counterparts who make $5 million a year or more.

Basketball programs not only bring in $$$ in the form of attendance, concessions, etc. But more importantly they often create strong feeelings of bonding with their alma mater who in turn make sizable donations back to the university down the road.

Thus, having successful sports programs and paying millions for the facilities and coaches can actually make good financial sense.

However, you can also spend alot of money and not have a good program and lose alot.

Is this a good way to run a university...probably not, but it is the state of large universities in America in 2007.
posted by django_z at 10:43 PM on March 21, 2007


Okay, just went to the link. Roy Williams is down for $1.4 million - you misread the spreadsheet. Though again, that is just his salary, he probably makes another 500K or more in those other areas.

Who the heck came up with this sheet anyways? This is just shoddy, shoddy work. There are alot of good sports business analysts and this wouldn't pass the muster with any of them. Dollars per win is a pretty meaningless metric. Someone who can win 20 games at a Big Ten or SEC school is doing a much better job than someone winning 20 games at a mid-Major like Nevada or UAB. This isn't the pros, they compete ir extremely divergent competitive arenas.

Come on, give us better than this.
posted by django_z at 10:48 PM on March 21, 2007


I did indeed misread the sheet. Apologies. Will call optometrist in the morning.
posted by Cranberry at 11:27 PM on March 21, 2007


I vaguely recall a study possibly by an economist who refuted the financial gain theory of big name college athletics. Unfortunately that is all I remember so I can't find it.

Here are some other links on the topic:
Coach income breakdown

Newshour Interview on the benefits of college athletics
posted by srboisvert at 3:36 AM on March 22, 2007


Small picture: Div I coaches are paid way too much

Big picture: Big state Unis and smaller college-level programs make a hell of a lot more money for a school that your average tenure-fodder. And that largely invisible stream of alumni cash? Don't forget that.

Question: Why does the NCAA still pretend that their money-maker athletes are still, with some exceptions, "scholar-athletes"? Just pay the guys already.

And yes, you'll always have Duke, UVA, Miami, etc. They can afford to keep both fires burning. Most schools can't.
posted by bardic at 5:06 AM on March 22, 2007


Question: Why does the NCAA still pretend that their money-maker athletes are still, with some exceptions, "scholar-athletes"? Just pay the guys already.

And, pray tell, how do you deal with swimming, softball, curling, quidditch, equestrian, wrestling, woman's basketball, and pretty much any other sport not called football or men's basketball? Do we start paying players based on how much money they bring into the school? Pay them all the same amount? What about the woman's sports? Take basketball for example. Regardless of the quality if play, woman's basketball takes in less money than mens. Do we start paying the men more because of this? That would go over well.

I understand the call for scrapping the idea of "scholar-athlete." By the same taken, as shown in advertisements by the NCAA, the reality is most really are scholar-athletes. So, how do we deal with this wide financial windfall discrepancy among college sports?
posted by jmd82 at 5:49 AM on March 22, 2007


In one essence, scholar-athletes are getting paid, via the scholarships they receive to play at the school. They're paid the equivalent of tuitions every year. Thats money that doesn't come out of their pocket or a loan that they'll have to pay back at one point. And also don't forget, this money flows into the facilities for these athletes, which can become rather lavish. At my own alma mater, I know the football program has their own juice bar. Yes, I repeat, their own juice bar.

As one person said, many of the athletic programs at the big programs actually pay for themselves. I know this is the case at the University of Arkansas, at the least. If it is the case, I don't have too big a qualm over the salary of coaches. It'd be nice to see some of the flow go towards academics, regardless.
posted by Atreides at 6:14 AM on March 22, 2007


For me, it sort of points to the quality of this subject when USA Today is the best source of data.

Although some folks make some great points, none of this is new.

What I would like to see: a formula based on wins, rate of return to the program, graduation rates, AND success of non-major sports athletes. 90% of the athletes are not in the major sports, so my question is this: how does strong athletics help the school and what is the success of the overall department?
posted by jonjacobmoon at 6:35 AM on March 22, 2007


What I would like to see: a formula based on wins, rate of return to the program, graduation rates, AND success of non-major sports athletes.

The only problem is the first 2 points are going to become increasingly mutually exclucive. With the NBA's one-year rule, the best HS players (see: Durant and Odem among others) are now going to college for one year instead of jumping to the NBA. Does a coach pass on these player to help with graduation rate at the cost of wins? Or does he take the wins knowing he's basically renting a star player for a year. If Ohio State's any indication, "renting" of players will become increasingly prevalent in order to win.

And one can argue about mid-majors winning without having the studs jumping to the NBA. However, look at mid-major's success over the years and very rarely is a team constantly winning like NC, Duke, Kansas, etc. Mid-major's winning tends to be cyclical as their players mature in the program whereas top-tier programs win every year because their players don't always need 2-3 years to learn winning at the college level.
posted by jmd82 at 7:07 AM on March 22, 2007


IIRC, the study on the so-called "Flutie Effect"-- a successful football or basketball team leading to an increase in the overall prestige of a college-- came out in the past year, and found that it led to an increase in applications for admission, but not an increase in the quality of the class accepted.

Now, if it somehow increases overall funding for a school, then maybe it allows more resources for scholars, but I don't remember ever hearing anything about that. This blog post surveying a number of studies suggests that the Flutie Effect is more positive and powerful than I'd remembered.

Here is a terrific article about how "the NCAA taints athletes and the schools for which they play." Wouldn't you love to know which player and team he's referring to at the end there.

I am a huge sports fan, and consider the NCAA Tournament the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. But it all seems to involve an awful lot of sub-ideal behavior by schools, coaches, athletes, boosters, television, journalists, and probably a few other groups.
posted by ibmcginty at 9:12 AM on March 22, 2007


And, pray tell, how do you deal with swimming, softball, curling, quidditch, equestrian, wrestling, woman's basketball, and pretty much any other sport not called football or men's basketball?
Well...many schools have been either drastically slicing the budgets of the "minor" sports or eliminating them altogether.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:06 AM on March 22, 2007


dw: For most schools, what a coach makes has little to no effect on tuition. Athletic departments are effectively self-sustaining enterprises.

And then you've got the counter examples.
posted by Sonny Jim at 2:47 PM on March 22, 2007


I agree with those who have questioned the source of this data. I can tell you that UNC does NOT pay Roy Williams anywhere near what is listed on that website. State universities have to publish what they pay their employees. Roy probably makes something like what is listed, from various outside contracts, as has been pointed out, but it's not his university paycheck.
posted by butternut at 4:49 PM on March 22, 2007


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