Wednesday, January 2

The big business of college football

Yesterday, I found myself watching some boring college football Bowl games... so I tried to pass the time by arguing with friends about the largess of NCAA coaches. If you want to impress your friends with some facts and figures, here is some quick research I pulled together from other sources.

The USA Today reported last month that "the number of million-dollar coaches has soared from five in 1999 to 50 today."

The truth is that the games on New Years Day are only part of college football's larger $400 million bowl industry. Fox Business reports that each of the BCS bowl games pays out $17 million to the conferences represented. The conferences, based on their own rules, divide the payout among all of the teams in the conference. If an additional team from a conference is lucky enough to make a BCS bowl, the conference receives an extra $4.5 million.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution had a great article last week outlining the huge bonuses given to coaches for winning their bowl game. The biggest bonus seems to await Les Miles if LSU can win next week's National Championship game. Others earn the right to renegotiate contracts if their team hits overall goals.

Alumni boosters at Hawaii ran a campaign to raise $114,000 for the team’s head coach, June S. Jones III when they grew worried he might leave the university when his contract expires in six months.

According to Forbes magazine, Ohio State has the biggest athletic department budget in the U.S. at a whopping $104.7 million for the year ending June 30, 2006. Texas was second at $97.8 million.

Then again, we are living in the age where 31 universities are seeking to raise at least a billion dollars.

In December, Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee tapped Peter Weiler to head up all of OSU’s fund-raising efforts, including a possible $2.5 billion capital campaign. Weiler will begin his new job in early 2008 as senior vice president for university development and president of the Ohio State University Foundation.

Just hours after OSU's announcement, the University of Georgia named longtime administrator Tom Landrum the permanent senior vice president for external affairs, the administrator in charge of fundraising, public affairs and alumni relations.

With Landrum in the vice president's office this year, fundraisers shot past their five-year fundraising goal to collect $500 million for the Archways to Excellence campaign. The campaign is set to conclude June 30, but already has collected $580 million, according to Landrum.
As vice president, Landrum will make $252,000 a year, the 13th highest salary among UGA administrators and faculty, according to university spokesman Tom Jackson.

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