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NCAA football coach’s salaries released, Saban tops list

Oct 4, 2018, 4:35 PM
FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2018, file photo, Alabama head coach Nick Saban celebrates after overtime of...
FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2018, file photo, NCAA Football Alabama head coach Nick Saban celebrates after overtime of the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Georgia, in Atlanta. The AP preseason Top 25 is out, and for the third straight year Alabama is No. 1. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)
(AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

USA Today has released a salary list that comprises of 130 NCAA football coaches, 82 of which make at least seven-figures or more.

To no surprise, Alabama Tide coach, Nick Saban, tops the list at $8,307,00, with bonus options adding up to $1,100,000.

Ohio State coach, Urban Meyer, comes in at #2 bringing in $7,600,000, with bonuses of up to $775,000.

82 NCAA football coaches of the 130 total listed make at least up to $1,000,000 with the lowest listed salary being $390,000.

NCAA football coach’s salaries too high or too low?

While discussing the topic last night in a segment of Unrivaled, Scott Mitchell and Alex Kirry spoke about the scale of each respective college program and the influence every coach brings.

“It is tremendously lopsided when it comes to what normal human being makes in the world,” Kirry said while breaking down the list. “We tend to look at these lists and go, are you kidding me, in the first place.”

He added, “I think you need to step back a little bit and just remember that, this world of college football that we’re talking about here, is not a normal world.”

University of Utah’s coach Kyle Whittingham makes an appearance on the list at #28 with a salary of $3,787,917.

NCAA Football Utes head coach Kyle Whittingham looks on during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Washington State in Pullman, Wash., Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham looks on during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Washington State in Pullman, Wash., Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

Mitchell went on to add that, “Kyle Whittingham is the top public paid employee in the state of Utah, by far.”

“It is a crazy amount of money if you’re comparing it against an educator, this isn’t education,” he added.

It’s definitely not. It’s not even on the same playing field when you compare the numbers because the nationwide average salary for teachers in the 2016-2017 school year was $59,850.

With all that said, should it even bother us how much or how little a college football coach makes?

“This is a business and in this business, these coaches are responsible for these universities generating seriously significant amounts of money. I mean, we’re talking about the whole industry in itself is a multi-billion dollar industry,” Mitchell said when discussing the salary discrepancies.

Can we call college athletics “amateur” at this point?

No matter where you stand on coach’s salaries, there is a point to be made regarding the level in which we classify college programs and “amateur” is not it.

“In our minds, we have this tradition that college sports and college athletics is this amateur sporting event and it’s not, it’s a big business,” Mitchell said.

Kirry agreed but was quick to point out that the coaches should be doing more on their end to protect and begin endorsing their players to create change.

“These guys, who are making all this money need to step up and say, ‘I am getting paid all of this money and the guys who are making it possible are these players,'” he added.

According to the NCAA website, only 1.9% of all collegiate football players will go pro and that number drops to 1.2% for men’s basketball and a mere 0.9% of all women’s basketball players will play professionally.

To say that an organization who generated over one-billion dollars of revenue last year can’t put that towards post-collegiate opportunities for these players is laughable.

And while the discussion of paying players directly through various contractual opportunities has become more common, it still hasn’t garnered enough attention to begin to shift the overall mindset that players should be content with playing for a scholarship.

But as corruption begins to plague the NCAA, maybe it’s time to take a look at how we view collegiate athletes in general.

More to the story

Listen to Alex Kirry and Scott Mitchell break down the list on the Unrivaled podcast.

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NCAA football coach’s salaries released, Saban tops list