Coaching College Football
Willie Taggart was introduced on Wednesday as Florida State’s new head football coach.
Taggart had always dreamed of playing for the Seminoles, he said, but his skills on the field led him to Western Kentucky, where he later coached. Then the University of South Florida. Then Oregon, for a single season.
Now he has achieved his dream. And someone else is paying for it. Pretty good dream.
Hey, we’re not picking on Taggart. He’s just today’s example of a system gone berserk, with other people’s money fueling the wrong end of the academic engine. Kids can’t afford to go to college, the government wants to take away the tax deductibility of their loans, and then you get the following – dollars set on fire.
Colleges always like to get their man. And that’s expensive, because coaches have contracts.
To escape those legal bounds, there’s a a buyout. So here is the deal that FSU made to get Taggart:
FSU will pay Taggart (career record of 47-50 over eight years, one 10-win season, one bowl win) $30 million over six years. But wait, there’s more (and it’s not a set of steak knives) … Florida State will also pay the $1,370,122.28 he still owes South Florida and another $3 million owed to Oregon as buyouts of his previous contracts.
When a player wants to transfer, he is ineligible for a year. When a coach wants to leave, it is on a magic carpet made of money.
USA Today (a former employer of your friendly neighborhood blog) compiles a list of coaches’ salaries through exhaustive research. The link will appear at the bottom of the blog – that’s where we put the good stuff.
Alabama pays Nick Saban $11.132 million to coach football, USA Today reports. If the good folks in Tuscaloosa had the weird notion to fire for him without cause, he’d be owed $26.9 million.
Alabama and Clemson played for the national title in January and will meet again in the College Football Playoffs. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney, who vehemently opposes paying college players because it would ruin the spirit of the game, earns a little more than $8.5 million. Fire him without cause and he walks with $40M. That’s the spirit!
The NCAA likes to refer to the players as student-athletes. Notice how they don’t ever mention teacher-coaches.
It’s insane and heartbreaking. Players are hopelessly ensnared in NCAA regulations designed to keep money out of their pockets and subject to one petty penalty after the next. Coaches? Bye … after the buyout.
Read it and weep.
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