By Ken Reed
Big-time college football is swimming in money. One need look no further than the huge buyouts college athletic programs are paying football coaches they’ve let go.
A group of seven head coaches (Mike Riley, Nebraska, Todd Graham, Arizona State, Jim McElwain, Florida, Jim Mora, UCLA, Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M, Butch Jones, Tennessee, and Bret Bielema, Arkansas) have been dismissed in the past month. Combined, they are reportedly owed $69.1 million for the early termination of their contracts. That means they are being paid on average nearly $10 million to go home and watch football on TV.
Moreover, buyout figures continue to grow. In 2017, according to USA Today, nine coaches now have buyouts that exceed $20 million!
The overarching point is, college athletic departments have the money to pay these ridiculous buyouts. Schools in Power Five conferences now average nearly $110 million in annual revenue.
So, tell me again why big-time college athletic programs can’t more fairly compensate the athletes that actually create the product?
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of FansPrint
- League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.