Sports Frappe Debate Club

KnowledgeDroppings back again dropping debate bait in front of the resident geniuses. Tip of the cap to reader Julie for the inspiration.

Should college coaches make more than the president of their respective college or university?

BiCoastal Bias: Why don’t we start by asking our good friend Jim Calhoun of UConn what he thinks? (Seriously, I understand that that reporter is a moron, but is there any reason for Calhoun to be that close to going off the handle during every press conference?)

Being an academic myself, I’d like to interject a little perspective on this issue. When a sports coach makes more than the university president, what does is say about the values of the institution? And who is really in control when the next cheating or recruiting scandal inevitably arises?

Not only should the university president make more than the coach, I’d say it is imperative to preserving the sanctity of the NCAA game. We are already that close to having big college teams completely disassociated from their actual college in terms of everyday life, and the salaries of the respective presidents and coaches is yet another warning sign.

If we look at this from a strictly sporting-fan angle, I say there is still reason for the presidents to make more. The financial success of a college team does not completely depend on wins and losses. It also depends on the type of venue the team plays in and the facilities to attract recruits, which all depend on the fund raising ability of the actual college. Which is usually one of the bigger responsibilities of the college president.

So sure, Jim Calhoun can sit there arrogantly certain that he is worth every penny. And he can take most of the credit for building up UConn to the basketball dominant school that it now is. But he didn’t do it all by himself, and he’s not bigger than the institution of which he is part.

IntrinsicBent: This may come as a surprise to most of you, but I ain’t no academic.

I really isn’t.

It’s 2009, so we’re like in the 21st or 22nd century by now, right? Let’s remove the rosey glasses of yesteryear and realize that money rules the sports world and sadly, society in general.

If a specific sport is a dominant revenue stream, then it drives the marketing and identity of the brand of the institution. This of course trickles down and benefits not only the university’s sports program holistically, but also benefits the school’s other programs, including academia.

In business, it is conceivable that a top level dealmaker can pull down more than the head of the organization, especially if there is a windfall phenomenon or the dealmaker’s compensation package is weighted heavily with commission and sales are large tickets.

We also shouldn’t glide over the fact that a modern day coach at a large school is in fact the CEO of that program, responsible for all facets that are required to be successful in an uber competitive industry.

Yes, I did just drop an uber.

When a program gets into any kind of violation trouble, whose head do we call for? It’s rarely ever the President of the university.

The last point in this winning side of the debate (even without a picture on my side) is the old question “Just how much is a major sports coach at a university worth?”

The answer is two part:
1) Whatever the market bears

2) Whatever the university pays them.

Don’t hate the coach, hate the game.


3 thoughts on “Sports Frappe Debate Club

  1. Values of the institution? Cheating or recruiting scandal? I don’t understand, from reading your forum, one of your primary contributers has no problem with cheating, as it is adequate barometer on said team/institution’s on their willingness to win! you know “If your not cheating your not trying to win.” With the University, If the students aren’t cheating how will the University gain recognition as an institute of higher education?


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