Highest Paid State Employees Mostly Football Coaches, Also Basketball (And a Hockey Coach in New Hampshire)

The sports blog Deadspin’s compiled an infographic on the highest paid state employees in every state (only 10 of which are deans or college presidents, and not coaches):

you can guess the schoolsDeadspin

Deadspin notes that the bulk of the pay comes from revenue generated by the athletics department. That presumes that revenue couldn’t be used to offset state spending on other parts of the school.

Nick Gillespie explained last month how these “revenue generating” athletic programs still end up costing students and schools money:

The vast majority of colleges—public and private—massively subsidize varsity sports directly out of mandatory student fees and other school funds. Despite the ability of top-tier teams to earn a lot of revenue via television contracts, ticket sales, merchandise sales, and other activities, most schools still hit up students in both direct and indirect ways.

Consider Rutgers, which dates back to the colonial period and is the flagship state university for New Jersey. According to a database compiled on an annual basis by USA Today, Rutgers' athletic department spent just over $60 million to field all its teams, pay its coaches, etc. in 2011. The school generated about $9 million in ticket sales, $7.6 million in alumni and corporate donations, $8.8 million in rights and licensing fees, and $6 million in other revenue. The school also sucked a whopping $9 million in student fees and another $19.4 million in school funds. When all is tallied up, USA Today calculates that Rutgers is subsidizing the operation of its athletic department to the tune of 47 percent of its expenses. Let's underscore that: This is money that is overwhelmingly going to field football, baseball, lacrosse, and other sports teams. It's not going to create new sections of Biology 101 or English 251 or underwrite the discovery of the next Streptomycin or publish the next Economics and the Public Interest or anything that remotely comes close to education or research.

Semi-related: the purpose of Harvard is not to educate people.

Reason on college

h/t Kmele Foster

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  • Pro Libertate||

    If it's a losing proposition, why do they do it then? Because they can get money from suckers and don't care?

  • Tman||

    I'm not sure that people who are whining about this are taking in to consideration just how much the football programs generate in revenue.

    If the programs weren't top 50 level teams they wouldn't be on TV and generating said revenue. If you want a top tier team you need to pay for a top tier coach who will bring the best recruits they can get so the team is competitive, thus getting TV time on the major networks thus generating said revenue.

    If you took the money that the programs generate and didn't use at least some of it on the football team, the team would go to shit and would no longer produce said revenue.

  • ||

    If the team doesn't produce enough revenue to pay for itself (and these stats say they don't), then you're shoveling money into a pit. It's that simple. I don't give a shit if you need a great coach to win and therefore bring in revenue. If the revenue isn't profiting, what the fuck are you doing?

  • John||

    The stats say a lot of them do. They just don't produce enough money to pay for themselves and that women's lacrosse team and such.

    And further, there is such a thing as a loss leader. How many people choose Duke over its peer schools because they want to have four years of tickets to Cameron Indoor Stadium or go to Alabama for football? More than a few. Universities are a business. And marketing is a part of any business.

  • Tman||

    I would agree with you Epi that if in fact the revenue generated did not justify the salaries that yes, this is stupid and should be stopped.

    But teams like Alabama or LSU or Michigan bring in WAY more revenue than any other department, and that revenue is used to pay for a variety of other programs besides just the football team.

  • sgs||

    "If the team doesn't produce enough revenue to pay for itself (and these stats say they don't), then you're shoveling money into a pit. It's that simple. "

    No, it really isn't. At least some of the students at universities are there because of sports programs, which is difficult to quantify in terms of profit, and many of them also consider the sports programs and the tickets they get as compensation.

    The problem as ever isn't the programs losing money, businesses have loss leaders all the time.

    It's that it's public money. That's the only issue here.

  • John||

    Even if it is public money, so what? You want the state to run a university, you can't then complain when the university does the kind of things other universities do to market itself.

    And it is marketing. How many people would know enough or care enough to apply to Notre Dame, a small Catholic school in one of the more depressing towns in Indiana, if not for the notoriety of their football team? Take away football and Notre Dame is Creighton in a colder climate.

  • sgs||

    "Even if it is public money, so what?"

    You're serious?

  • John||

    Yes. I am serious. Read the rest of the post. If you don't want the university to do the things necessary to succeed as such, then don't have a state university.

    Your problem seems to be with the existence of state universities at all. And that, while a legitimate point, is a different argument.

  • sgs||

    "Your problem seems to be with the existence of state universities at all."

    Nope.

    "And that, while a legitimate point, is a different argument."

    Again, no, it isn't.

  • sgs||

    "You want the state to run a university, you can't then complain when the university does the kind of things other universities do to market itself."

    Ah, here's the problem, I don't, and never said I did.

  • John||

    Good for you. But that is a different debate.

  • sgs||

    Not really, I consider the debate about the proper use of public funds.

    And you responded to me, if you don'[t want to discuss what I'm discussing, stop responding to me.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Government shouldn't be in the education business. It does poorly.

  • John||

    Government shouldn't be in the education business. It does poorly.

    The hundreds of state run colleges in this country who are the envy of the world in many ways would beg to differ.

  • UnCivilServant||

    An even greater number which are the laughingstock of the world support my assertion.

  • John||

    An even greater number which are the laughingstock of the world support my assertion.

    There are departments that are laughingstocks. But entire schools? Not really. There may be a reason in principle to never have a public university. And if that is your principle, good for you. But to try and pretend that such a system hasn't produced a lot of very good schools is just denying reality and not helping your point.

  • UnCivilServant||

    That a few have bucked the trend is not an argument in favor of keeping a system which consistantly fails the bulk of those placed in its care and seems to exist soley to perpetuate its own existence.

  • sgs||

    "The hundreds of state run colleges in this country who are the envy of the world in many ways would beg to differ."

    Only because they were educated in a so called state run university where they were never taught how much better it would be if the universities weren't state run.

  • John||

    Only because they were educated in a so called state run university where they were never taught how much better it would be if the universities weren't state run.

    Having gone to both state and private schools and one school abroad, the actual evidence would suggest otherwise. Whatever problems higher ed has, and there are many, are not exclusive to state schools.

  • sgs||

    "Having gone to both state and private schools and one school abroad"

    which exist in the current system, and are thus useless for comparison because of the vast distortion caused by the current system.

    You were saying something?

  • sgs||

    Listen, I'll give you that US universities are top notch in the world. NO question.

    That fact isn't demonstrative of anything in my opinion, largely because of the vast resources poured in to the system.

    That's my last on this.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    The other thing that should be noticed is that the private/public distinction in the US is largely a con. If you look at most of the "private" universities revenue sources, they often get just as much of their funding from public sources, just in the form of grants rather than per-student subsidies.

  • AuH20||

    Well, given that the fucking point of a university is not to be a minor league system, fuck the students who go there for sports. Learn to like a pro team, you morons. Go to college to get a degree and get a job, or at the very least network and enter into the halls of the elite, which is a sad but true reality about American government. But anyone who is going to a school to watch the sports teams should be booted out on their ass immediately.

  • John||

    Well, given that the fucking point of a university is not to be a minor league system, fuck the students who go there for sports.

    So because you don't approve of their preferences, universities should not market to such even though doing so is in the university's best interest.

    Every school has a set of peer schools that is virtually identical and competes for the same pool of students. Schools have to have a way to market themselves. What is the difference between going to a school for the sports and going to a school because you like the town or think the girls are better looking? Neither has anything to do with academics.

  • sgs||

    "Well, given that the fucking point of a university is"

    WHATEVER THEPEOPLE RUNNING IT AND THE STUDENTS ATTENDING IT WOULD LIKE IT TO BE.

    You're not the arbiter of what universities are supposed to be. Knock that shit off.

  • ||

    Can't you go for both?

  • Zeb||

    I totally agree that the emphasis on sports in college is fucking retarded. The NFL and NBA should get their own damn minor leagues. But I also agree that we don't get to decide what a college gets to focus on or put its resources towards.

    I think a lot of the problem would fix itself if there wasn't so much public money available for college, encouraging everyone to go even if they only care about sports and partying. If the pool of applicants was heavier on people who actually had a need or strong desire for further education, then schools wouldn't have to resort to marketing themselves on their fancy non-academoc facilities or big time sports teams and focus on their actual missions of education.

  • John||

    Two reasons. First, it wouldn't be such a money losing proposition if it wasn't for title IX. Most athletic programs lose money because they have to subsidize an equal number of generally money losing women's programs. So schools are sort of caught in a trap. To have the money making programs popular with the alumni they have to maintain any number of money losers popular with the Department of Education and feminists.

    Second, there is more to the high profile programs than the bottom line. These programs allow schools to make their alumni into basically tribes that are always connected back to their school. In Europe, where they don't have university athletics, it is almost unheard of for someone to give money to their old school. Fund raising over there is a real challenge. America in contrast has a culture of people feeling tied to their old college throughout life. And big time athletics are a big part of that.

    University administrators are often greedy and craven. But they are not as stupid about fund raising and dollars and cents as Gillespie would like to pretend they are. The Jacket just doesn't like college sports and really doesn't know shit about how universities actually operate and raise funds.

  • sgs||

    I remember reading the story of a California that had to gin up a womens rowing program out of nowhere so they could keep one of their highly successful men's programs because of title IX.

    Title IX is an abomination, and now that there are substantially more women than men in college, I wonder why it still exists.

  • sgs||

    *California school*

  • UnCivilServant||

    Because Women's sports programs still lose money.

    And it's a progressive scared cow.

  • John||

    Title IX has damn near killed non revenue men's sports like wrestling or swimming and diving. It is a complete abomination.

  • ||

    Wasn't UCLA, that's for sure. They lost their Men's swimming program because of title 9 and that was an Olympic athlete factory.

    Univ of Wisconsin baseball too. Damn shame.

  • Robert||

    Of course they have university athletics in Europe. It's just not that big a deal.

  • KPres||

    "If it's a losing proposition, why do they do it then? Because they can get money from suckers and don't care?"

    Same reason car companies make ridiculously fast sports cars that lose money...because if a Viper can beat a Corvette in a quarter mile, you're more likely to buy a Durango than a Tahoe?

  • Zeb||

    I'll still get the Landcruiser.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    If it's a losing proposition, why do they do it then?

    The alternative is not to play.

  • John||

    It is not a losing proposition. Funny how Libertarians of all people could be so sure that a group of people in an industry are so obviously acting against their best interests.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Shut up and enjoy scifi jokes.

  • johnl||

    This is the point. Whenever it looks like that's happening, it's time for a closer look.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Fun fact, the Department of Civil Service has no control over the pay for SUNY employees. This is why they ran away from everyone else who works for the state.

  • ||

    Arkansas' athletic program has no student athletic fees, turns a profit, donates money to academics, and actually helps other schools in the state. If other programs can't do it, that's their bad.

  • Irish||

    Nevada: Med School Plastic Surgeon.

    What?

  • NeonCat||

    He has to evaluate all the Las Vegas dancers' cosmetic surgery work? "Hmm, this implant job is sub-standard, you'll have to waitress until you get it fixed."

  • John||

    Or maybe teach plastic surgery at the med school. And there is more to plastic surgery than boob jobs. People do get burned or have their faces smashed in accidents and such.

  • Irish||

    And there is more to plastic surgery than boob jobs. People do get burned or have their faces smashed in accidents and such.

    Obviously. You'd just think that the med school dean would be higher paid than the plastic surgeon professor.

  • John||

    Deans are a dime a dozen. But someone who is legitimately well known in their field? Commands a price, especially if it is in something useful like medicine.

  • Irish||

    If deans are a dime a dozen, then why is every other state a coach, a med school dean, a med school chancellor or a college president?

  • John||

    Because apparently, Nevada decided they really wanted a big guy in plastic surgery to come teach there.

  • NeonCat||

    I know, but mine is funnier.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Methinks John is in academia and has grown defensive in this article's comments.

  • ||

    John's just defensive whenever anyone points out he's wrong, so he has a vast amount of practice at it.

  • John||

    That is totally it. The fact that none of the people on this thread who are so worried about college athletics know their ass from a hole in the ground about how college fund raising works and I am married to a woman who did it for years and long ago debased me of such simplistic assumptions means nothing. Nope, I am just intimidated by the incredible facts and logic of the people on here.

  • John||

    No. I am not in academia. I generally can't stand academia and think our entire higher ed system is broken and a giant inflated bubble. But I still know bullshit when I see it.

    There is more too college athletics than a bunch of jocks taking advantage of poor defenseless administrators and trustees. It is funny how Libertarians are so convinced that they know better how to run universities than the people who run them. They sound like liberals on this subject. Maybe, just maybe there is more to it than you people think and there are more reasons to have an athletic program than is shown on the bottom line? Just a thought.

  • UnCivilServant||

    There is no reason any school should have any athletics programs. They detract from time better spent on actual educational functions.

    There is also no such thing as a spectator sport. If you're not participating on the field/rink/whatever, you have no excuse for being there.

    And don't mistake me for a libertarian.

  • John||

    There is no reason any school should have any athletics programs. They detract from time better spent on actual educational functions.

    And there are colleges that have no sports. The University of Chicago dropped its sports program in the 1930s. If you like that, good for you. But spare me your claims that your preferences are somehow more compelling than anyone else preferences.

  • johnl||

    Chicago dropped football only. Which they added back 30 years later.

  • fried wylie||

    There is no reason any publicly funded school should have any athletics programs. They detract from time better spent on actual educational functions.

    Better?

    I have no problem with people voluntarily paying for sports programs. Which ticket sales are an example of, once those revenues have repaid the public investment in that sports program.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Except a lot of the public funded schools are voluntarily paying for sports programs. The athletic budget is usually separate from the general fund.

  • John||

    There is also no such thing as a spectator sport. If you're not participating on the field/rink/whatever, you have no excuse for being there.

    Go fuck yourself. I don't need an excuse for doing anything other that I like it.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    There is also no such thing as a spectator sport. If you're not participating on the field/rink/whatever, you have no excuse for being there.
    Go fuck yourself. I don't need an excuse for doing anything other that I like it.

    Listen John, no one needs to watch sports. That's why I propose a limit on the number of tickets one can buy.

    (Though I entirely agree with your point and UnCivil is being a dick)

  • fried wylie||

    Auric, based on the number of movies where some terrorist has planted a bomb in the stands, I fervently believe in extensive background checks for all ticket holders, players, coaches, groundskeepers, etc

    Don't you care about The Children?

  • fried wylie||

    And there is more to plastic surgery than boob jobs. People do get burned or have their faces smashed in accidents and such.

    There's more to the internet than porn, people use it for non-sex research and such.

  • Robert||

    And what they do after non-sex research and such?

  • Robert||

    Plastic surgery is hard.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    RE Alt-text: Vermont's is obviously my undergrad of UVM. The president there used to be Dan Fogel, and this was when Superbad came out. If we hadn't been so lazy we were going to make up t-shirts with a Fogel/McLovin fake ID on it.

    RE Clicking through the photo: I am a bonafined registered commenter. Why do I not have admin access?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    RE Clicking through the photo: I am a bonafined registered commenter. Why do I not have admin access?

    And now you go silently change the link to make me look foolish because I, even as an officially registered commenter, am not allowed to use an EDIT BUTTON to update my posts?

  • Brett L||

    What the fuck? When did FL become a goddamned sissy basketball state. I mean, sure 2 of the 3 bigs are in a basketball conference, but that better be Billy Donovan, because what-his-name at FSU is a goddamned joke. Leonard Hamilton? Is that it? Anyhow, he defines mediocrity.

  • John||

    And even Donovan been consistently mediocre outside of his incredible senior class that won him the two national titles. He hasn't exactly reloaded very well since then.

  • fried wylie||

    That presumes that revenue couldn’t be used to offset state spending on other parts of the school.

    "We earned it. Fuck math, science, language AND ESPECIALLY the arts. None of that shit scores touchdowns."

  • fried wylie||

    "In today's news, American college graduates woefully unprepared for any job. In other news, Indians are stealing all our jobs."

  • Zeb||

    But we still have the best basketball and American football players in the world, so it's not so bad.

  • fried wylie||

    Rock. Wait, how many other countries play those sports....

  • fried wylie||

    "USA, USA, USA, Best In The World At Running The American Education System!"

  • fried wylie||

    "No country in the world can compete with our ability to elect The President Of The United States."

  • fried wylie||

    "No-one has a better United States Army than us!"

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