I posted a few weeks ago about a story published by the SF Chronicle, detailing the problems between the California Athletic Department and the University. Today, USA Today published a thorough report about the rising salaries for top NCAA Football coaches, despite the economic strain placed on higher education due to the budget cuts and economic troubles recently. While the top four earners were Pete Carroll of USC ($4.4MM), Bob Stoops of Oklahoma ($4.3MM), Urban Meyer of Florida ($4MM) and Nick Saban of Alabama ($3.9MM), a good amount of the article focused upon California coach Jeff Tedford ($2.8MM) and Athletic Director Sandy Barbour’s budget decisions.
It's no surprise, as I wrote previously, that people are questioning the arms race and spending of college athletics at an institution like UC. It is a public university supported largely by taxpayers, and secondly by private donations. With the California budget crisis, state funding has been dramatically cut and academic programs, professors, and students are bearing the brunt of the cost. Athletics however, have been forgiven millions of dollars and supported by supplementary funds. This problem is not unique to the UC system and Cal, and one could argue that it originated at the top football institutions and we've all been forced to adhere to their pay-grade. The fact of the matter is that this spending needs to be reined in. I don't care how much money the football programs pull in, to be paying a coach that much money while an educational institution is struggling to survive is wrong. Read the article here and let me know what you think.