Whether it be on the national platform or on the college level, select sports coaches do have a hefty salary. Unfortunately, universities pay the coaches of just a few sports disproportionately high.
IU’s Tom Crean makes an annual salary of $600 thousand. If we include all benefits and perks included with his job, Crean earnes closer to $3 million. According to USA Today’s calculation of coach salaries, that makes him the eighth-highest paid college basketball coach in the nation.
The Editorial Board wanted to find out if a large salary really reflects a coach’s ability.
The coaches getting paid the most do have fantastic teams to back up the idea of paying them a high amount, but it’s a gross amount compared to other sports.
Compared to coaches like John Calipari of Kentucky and Mike Krzyzewski of Duke, who respectively make $6 million and $7 million annually, one may say the salary does reflect coaching ability.
The salaries of football coaches are just as hefty. Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh makes $9 million annually. IU’s former head coach Kevin Wilson was the 50th-highest paid coach in the nation, but he was still making $2 million.
In 2014, when Chris Lemonis was introduced as the head coach of baseball at Indiana University, the Director of Athletics Fred Glass released a statement saying Lemonis would start at a salary of $250,000 a year.
When justifying the salary, he said, “I think that’s reflective of our continuing commitment to providing the resources necessary to keep IU baseball at the top of the heap.”
At the time, Lemonis was the second-highest paid baseball coach in the Big Ten.
Women’s basketball coach Teri Moren makes $300,000 annually. Last year, Moren was named Big Ten Coach of the Year for her phenomenal coaching.
Looking at all of these statistics, the Editorial Board noticed quite the margin between sports and gender.
We originally wanted to suggest a salary cap for coaches so the paychecks wouldn’t be so marginally different but discovered that it would be illegal to do so. The first section of the Sherman Act prevents the NCAA from capping coach salaries because the teams are not nonprofit, like the NFL.
Of course, more goes into the salary than just the streaks and reputation of the teams.
When you Google reasons to go to IU, there are several lists done by blogs or local news sites telling prospective students why they should choose IU.
The first thing you see when you click on the first article is a picture of the IU men’s basketball team beating Purdue’s team.
Other websites listed options like academics, social life and greek life as well, but sports and school spirit were consistently on these lists.
Having a great team draws students to a college and thus brings in money for the college so that they are able to hand out the big paychecks.
We want to reward coaches for doing a great job when they lead our teams to success, but we want to see coaches of less popular sports to get a similar recognition.