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):
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