Forget the Governor's Office, Become a College Football Coach Instead

Friday, 17 May 2013 07:54 AM

By John Morgan

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The highest-paid public employee in most states is most likely a college sports coach, according to data compiled by DeadSpin.com.

The sports site said it researched media reports and state salary databases to conclude that the best-paid government employees by state were college coaches by a wide margin.

"You may have heard that the highest-paid employee in each state is usually the football coach at the largest state school," wrote Deadspin's Reuben Fischer-Baum. "This is actually a gross mischaracterization: Sometimes it is the basketball coach."

Editor's Note: Startling Proof of the End of America’s Middle Class. Details in the Video

He said the data showed the ranks of the highest-paid active public employees by state included 27 football coaches, 13 basketball coaches and one hockey coach (logically enough, in New Hampshire).

Limited government spending advocates should not be overly concerned, however.

"The bulk of this coaching money — especially at the big football schools — is paid out of the revenue that the teams generate," Fischer-Baum wrote.

The problem, though, is that college sports revenue — from TV programming, tickets, merchandise and other related sources — rarely makes its way back to the general funds of these universities.

Data from 2011-2012 showed athletic departments at 99 major schools actually lost money.

"All this football/basketball revenue is sucked up by coach and [athletic director] salaries, by administrative and facility costs and by the athletic department's non-revenue generating sports; it's not like it's going to microscopes and Bunsen burners," Fischer-Baum said.

TheWeek.com offered a couple of state salaries for the sake of comparison.

It found that this year, Mack Brown, the University of Texas football coach, will have compensation of $5.2 million, not including bonuses, while Texas Gov. Rick Perry will have a salary of $150,000.

Meanwhile, John Calipari, the University of Kentucky basketball coach, will have compensation of $5.4 million including bonuses, while Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear will have a salary of $151,643.

Other states where the highest-paid state employee was a college football coach included Pennsylvania, Georgia, Alabama, Nebraska and Oregon.

Other states where the highest-paid state employee was a college basketball coach included California, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Arizona and Indiana.

Editor's Note: Startling Proof of the End of America’s Middle Class. Details in the Video

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