In the wake of USA TODAY releasing its list of highest paid coaches in the country, one school chancellor has taking a shot at a few its conference opponents. This surely is going to create some controversy within the conference.
According to USA TODAY, Wisconsin chancellor Rebecca Blank claimed that she believes Ohio State and Michigan are overpaying their head football coaches. Ohio State’s Urban Meyer is making $5.66 million this season while Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh is making $7 million, including his one-time $2 million signing bonus.
“Those are the choices they make,” she said in an interview for a story about coaching salaries. “That really begins to threaten the whole sense that we are not professional athletic teams. I’m not terribly happy about the fact that they made those choices. That’s my opinion.”
Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez has a pretty different opinion about Blank’s comments.
“I look at it as their business,” he says. “I do. I don’t concern myself. I don’t feel like we’re in competition with salaries at Ohio State or Michigan. … When you’re Ohio State and football is as important as it is in that state, and you have an opportunity to hire someone who has a couple of national championships in his hip pocket and is from that state, it makes sense to pay him. He’s that valuable. … And Harbaugh, I think it’s a coup for Michigan and our league. I think he is worthy of that salary. That’s what they can command. The market drives that.”
The Wolverines and Buckeyes are the two premiere programs in the nation. With premiere programs and premiere coaches as Meyer and Harbaugh, you could expect them to be paid a little more than your run-of-the-mill coaches.
Blank’s comments could be justified, however. Her salary is sitting just under $500,000 while Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst’s salary is $2.3 million.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports