18 December 2007

Comparing apples to oranges.

So I'm stumbling around espn.com today following up the Rich Rodriguez hiring at Michigan and I find a story about Florida State and Jimbo Fisher, Bobby Bowden's heir apparent. Florida State is so excited to sew up this guy that they've promised him 2.5 million if he isn't hired as head coach in 3 years. However, more interesting was the paragraph on current head coach Bobby Bowden's salary:
Florida State also released Bowden's one-year contract that has a nearly $2.2 million base salary, including a $200,000 signing bonus, a series of incentives that could add at least $600,000 and a $1 million "lifetime achievement" bonus upon retirement.

Not bad for coaching football. It hammers home how much college sports (and here I'm talking about football and basketball, really) are amazing moneymakers. Not only that, these sports also serve as the most public face of the university in many cases and fuel alumni giving.

Penn State was recently forced to release Coach Joe Paterno's salary after a long court fight. Paterno has been head coach at Penn State since 1966, a position he attained after 16 years as an assistant coach. Paterno's contributions to Penn State beyond football are considerable:
Paterno is also renowned for his charitable contributions to academics at Penn State. He and his wife Sue have contributed over $4 million towards various departments and colleges, including support for the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center, which opened in 2003, and the Penn State All-Sports Museum, which opened in 2002.[15] After helping raise over $13.5 million in funds for the 1997 expansion of Pattee Library, the University named the expansion Paterno Library in their honor. [16] [Wikipedia]

In addition to that, the English Department also contains the Paterno Family Professor of Literature position (Paterno was an English major at Brown), currently held by Michael Bérubé, which is kind of funny, since Bérubé is on the Left and Paterno is quite visibly a Republican. Bérubé in fact was named one of the "101 Most Dangerous Academics in America" by protofascist David Horowitz, whose sad attempt at a blacklist petered out when it turned out no one really believed him (Horowitz's well-publicized attempts to demonstrate Left-wing bias and indoctrination in academia have led him to some embarrassing moments, like the Pennsylvania legislature's hearing in which no one was able to come forward with evidence of what Horowitz claims is widespread intimidation of conservatives).

But I digress.

Penn State recently had to reveal Joe Paterno's salary. It was $512,664 base. Not bad for the second-winningest coach in major D-1 football history who consistently fields teams among the highest graduation rates in the country.

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