They Get Paid How Much??

For my white paper, I will be examining the issue of compensating college athletes (outside of the the scholarships that already exist).  This image presents various salaries and revenues from icons/organizations such as University of Texas head football coach Mack Brown, Louisville head basketball coach Rick Pitino, and the NBA (among others).  The purpose of the chart, which came from a New York Times piece, is to show the extremely high salaries that these coaches and leagues receive.  If they earn such large amounts of money, the Times article argues that athletes deserve to be paid as well because they are really the people who are generating the revenue.  In fact, the image even shows that (in the case of Texas) the head coach is paid more than the combined value of all players’ scholarships.  This is a very to-the-point, simple graphic that very effectively portrays the argument of the entire article.

6 thoughts on “They Get Paid How Much??

  1. When I think about how many of my friends – both at Bucknell and from home – play sports in college, it seems obvious that athletic scholarships are both numerous and frequent. But I have never thought about the total number. These are RIDICULOUS! I’m all for helping students get through college – but millions of dollars to play football (and barely pass classes) seems a little absurd. I’ll be interested to learn how much the schools make off of each athlete in return for the scholarship investment.

    • 98% of college athletes are not on scholarship. In fact until this year, Bucknell did not even give out athletic scholarships except for basketball.

  2. What, exactly, are these salaries supposedly buying in terms of contribution to a University?

    Also, paying athletes is a SOLUTION to a problem. What is the underlying policy problem?

  3. I am very excited to read your white paper. This would be very interesting to understand how they rationalize N.C.A.A coach’s salaries. The coaches must see themselves as deserving the compensation because of all the recruiting they do. It is almost similar to a music pop star’s manager and how they are compensated.

  4. I don’t believe that college athletes should be payed a salary, as long as they receive a scholarship to play. However, I do think it is absurd how much the coaches get payed. That money should be going towards the athletic program, not into the pocket of the coach. I don’t know how that salary is justified. Who exactly determines salaries of the coaches?

    • Usually it is the President of a university in consultation with trustees or others. Now, it is usually hiring from a competitive labor pool which is what coaches will say to justify their salary. However, if we turn it around and say, what is the measurable value that is added by a good coach, it may not come close to the competitive salaries.

      What I am trying to say is that salaries may be rising relative to each other but without a clear link to performance that counts for a university. For example, if we have one of the highest graduation rates for athletes, shouldn’t that be worth more than win-loss?

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