Thursday, November 29, 2007

Are you happy now Patriot News?

Did learning that JoePa makes a measly (with respect to other coaches) salary make you happy? This five year long inquiry that went through multiple court rooms, including the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, is utterly ridiculous. And the final outcome - the release of legendary Penn State Coach Joe Paterno's salary - makes it seem even worse. I'm willing to bet that the staff at the Harrisburg Patriot News thought Paterno was making $1-$2 million annually. FAR FROM IT! For a coach that has been on the Nittany Lions football staff since 1950 and Head Coach for the last 41 years, a salary of $512,664 in 2007 ($490,638 in 2006) is nothing to a large University such as Penn State. While nearly all professional coaches (and athletes for that matter) are overpaid in my eyes, it's what the business dictates. For reference, I've listed some recent salaries for coaches in NCAA football and basketball, NFL, NBA, and MLB. All figures are the coach's salary per year.

College Football (for 2006 from ESPN and College Sports Report)

  • Nick Saban (Alabama) - $4 million
  • Bob Stoops (Oklahoma) - $3.4 million
  • Charlie Weis (Notre Dame) - $3.3 million
  • Pete Carroll (USC) - $3 million
  • Kirk Ferentz (Iowa) - $2.8 million
  • Jim Tressel (Ohio State) - $2.5 million
  • Urban Meyer (Florida) - $2 million
*NOTE: College Sports Report figures were for the 2006 season and may contain errors (they had JoePa listed as $2 million which we now know is not true)

College Basketball (for 2005-2006 season; from USA Today)
  • Tubby Smith (Kentucky) - $2.2 million
  • Thad Matta (Ohio State) - $1.8 million
  • Rick Bames (Texas) - $1.8 million
  • Tom Izzo (Michigan State) - $1.8 million
  • Jim Calhoun Connecticut) - $1.5 million
  • Roy Williams (North Carolina) - $1.4 million
  • Billy Donovan (Florida) - $1.4 million
  • Mike Krzyzewski (Duke) - $1.25 million
NFL (unfortunately these are from the 2003-2004 season; from Forbes)
  • Steve Spurrier (Redskins) - $5 million
  • Mike Holmgren (Seahawks) - $4.5 million
  • Bill Parcells (Cowboys) - $4.5 million
  • Mike Shanahan (Broncos) - $4.1 million
  • Mike Martz (Rams) - $3.5 million
  • Jon Gruden (Buccaneers) - $3.5 million
NBA (for 2005-2006 season; from New York Daily News and Inside Hoops)
  • Rick Adelman (Kings) - $6.9 million
  • Jerry Sloan (Jazz) - $5.5 million
  • Larry Brown (Pistons) - $5 million
  • Doc Rivers (Celtics) - $5 million
  • Jeff Van Gundy (Rockets) - $5 million
  • Gregg Popovich (Spurs) - $4 million
MLB (for 2007 season; from Biz of Baseball)
  • Joe Torre (Yankees) - $7.5 million
  • Lou Piniella (Cubs) - $3.5 million
  • Bobby Cox (Braves) - $3 million
  • Tony La Russa (Cardinals) - $2.8 million
  • Mike Scioscia (Angels) -$2 million
  • Jim Leyland (Tigers) - $2 million
  • Bruce Bochy (Giants) - $1.75 million
  • Terry Francona (Red Sox) - $1.65 million
  • Phil Garner (Astros) - $1.5 million
So there you go. All of those coaches, from various sports played on various levels, made more than JoePa for that year. And many of them still are. Ridiculous? Probably. While it's easy to justify professional coaches making more, should a vast majority be? How many titles did Steve Spurrier bring Washington? Nick Saban sure had a wonderful year 1. And do I even need to mention Weis' year 3? With respect to what these coaches (and many unlisted ones) are making, it is blatantly obvious that JoePa is underpaid for his success. Even though his teams have underachieved in this decade (save for 2005), JoePa is definitely worth more than $500,000 in this day and age. He has produced 371 wins, 2 national championships, 22 bowl victories, 33 bowl appearances, five undefeated seasons, and numerous Coach of the Year Awards as head coach at Penn State.

What would you pay a coach that has a track record and resume as good as Paterno's? I'm guessing it is more than $500,000.

Oh this isn't over yet. Paterno is quite the respectable coach. Penn State players have consistently demonstrated above-average academic success compared to Division 1-A schools nationwide. Over the past five years, the Nittany Lions' graduation rate as measured by the NCAA was the highest in the country three times, most recently exceeding the national average of 64 percent by 19 points. And he is charitable. Joe Paterno and his wife Sue have donated more than $4 million back to Penn State over the years. They also were the backbone for the University raising 13.5 million for an addition to the Pattee Library. The new section is called Paterno.

To summarize, I applaud the Patriot News for pursuing this. They come out looking like idiots and Paterno is seen as underpaid (again, in relation to other coaches). Thank you Harrisburg media.

No comments: