Name me another employee in any state government that has as great of a return on investment as Alabama football coach Nick Saban? Alabama's football team is worth +/- $100 million dollars. Each time Alabama has made a BCS bowl game, it has earned his conference over $15 million, $30 for the last championship game they went to. Sell out home games non-stop. Who else is doing that? Governor? DMV division head? What state employee compares? No one creates value in government jobs as they are all a transfer of wealth from taxpayers to tax takers. Hiring Nick Saban boosted Alabama's bottom line, and has been the best invested they ever made. Even mid-tier big conference football programs see good returns like Iowa and Kirk Ferentz. He earns $3.65 million per year, but the last BCS bowl game berth nearly paid for the extension itself.
Forget college professors. A STEM professor could bring in grants, but not the year after year return a successful coach can earn for a school. What do college professors do for their money and tenure? My cousin in a tenure track position teaches two courses and must get at least three articles in a peer reviewed journal in five years. That is eight hours of teaching, with specific books required by the department head, a few office hours, hours grading papers, and then writing her articles. Wow, wicked tough. One of the journals was easy to publish because they had so few people submitting articles. One year down, one article done. Make her a millionaire. Look at that map again. The northeast has non-coaching jobs as the highest paid government employees because their state school sports programs are awful (notice Connecticut with UConn basketball is an exception).
Big time college sports is a sick system. It also earns billions. Those billions keep all the crappy sports in business. I would rather see major sports programs clean up who they recruit (no rapists for starters) and properly deal with criminal athletes rather than cover for them. I am in favor of not paying all players, but only players who have their likeness and number jersey sold (escrow accounts in trust until age 25). Additional hypocrisy is the nation bitching about Marxist professors who do not teach anything useful, state governments being corrupt, inefficient leviathans and the entire university system being a racket yet pointing and shouting about coach salaries. At least these coaches deliver because if they do not, they do not have tenure protecting them. Grandstanding about coaches earning millions might make you feel good with your SWPL friends on social media, but think it through next time before regurgitating the colorful graphic.
Cross-posted at SWPL Sports Review