Tag Archives: college basketball

America Invests in the Future of College Coaches

Is your state's highest paid employee a coach?

Greetings. Each week I try to post at least one comic strip or graphic that makes you (or me) think. The above graphic shows who is the highest-paid public employee for each state. Public employee means they work at a state institution funded by public money (taxes). This is not a debate I am well versed in, but I thought the graphic was interesting and I wanted your thoughts about it.

Does anyone know if the above graphic is accurate? I have no problem accepting that a coach is the highest paid employee at a college. That is pretty easy for me to accept. I’m not sure if the graphic is accurate because of the contribution of athletic boosters. It is true that several colleges lose money because of their athletic programs. But, at least for the big time programs, there is normally a megarich booster (or several boosters) who support a lot of the athletic programs. Does it still count as being a public employee when so much of the money comes from private funds instead of taxes? This is more semantics than anything. The main argument presented in this article is that having a big-time athletic program that generates millions in revenue doesn’t really matter because the coaches’ salaries prevent this money from going back to the college.

Perhaps the more disappointing part of this graphic should be that it reflects American priorities for education. The highest paid person at many colleges is not a professor… but an athletic coach. The potential investment in our nation’s future does not go into teachers, research or technology… but to coaches.

What are your thoughts?