College athletics need budget, salary control


Published: Wednesday, January 29, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 28, 2003 at 11:13 p.m.

Your editorial on executive pay (Jan. 21) was excellent, especially because the pay is not correlated with corporate performance.

I also agree the bidding-war for salaries of Florida's university presidents is out of control.

Even more egregious is the remuneration of football and (some) basketball coaches. I also love football/basketball and the Gators, but the "tail is wagging the dog" when big-time athletics departments control their own budgets, generally independent of oversight of university presidents and trustees.

Unfortunately, very few athletics programs can balance their budgets without relying on university financial assistance.

It is not unusual for a major university coach to earn several times that of the school's president. To correct this untenable situation, I propose that no coach should earn more than the president of his university.

The NCAA should place this financial cap to include all sources of a coach's income (salary, TV, summer camps, shoe and equipment tie-ins, endorsements and gifts).

This will result in an increase in presidential salaries, which is needed at many schools, Florida excepted.

Yes, successful football/basketball programs bring in many large contributions and "fame," but so do university presidents.

Is it better for a school to have a reputation as a football/basketball factory, or as a center for high academic achievement, research and creativity?

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