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In Most States, Highest Paid Employee is College Sports Coach

I  don't know if others had the same reaction as I have, but this chart of the highest paid state employees in the nation is upsetting, because they're almost all college sports coaches:

As Deadspin notes:

Based on data drawn from media reports and state salary databases, the ranks of the highest-paid active public employees include 27 football coaches, 13 basketball coaches, one hockey coach, and 10 dorks who aren't even in charge of a team.

For New Jersey, the highest paid state employee is Rutgers football coach Kyle Flood, who makes $750,000 before incentives. All football coaches combined for $2.5 million (none less than $118,000). The women's basketball coach makes $550K, and her staff combines to $1.2 million (none less than $55,000). Our recently "resigned" basketball coach made more than $650,000 annually before severance and bonuses. All of these are before perks like houses, per diems, clothing allowances, etc.

And, if you remember, Greg Schiano of football fame made $1.1 million annually, plus a house renovation, fancy offices, food, free tuition for family, a $250,000 marketing deal, use of the Rutgers helicopter and -- get this -- jet, free travel for the family to away games, etc., etc., etc.

This is for a group of programs, intercollegiate athletics, that loses $28 million annually.

Meanwhile the starting median salary for a Rutgers professor is $53,000.  The mid-career median salary for a professor is $92,000.

And the average salary for a Rutgers employee is $44K.

How is it that an athletic coach can make 20 times the average salary of a Rutgers employee, and 12 times the median average for a tenured professor?  Does an athletic coach -- and I'm a huge Rutgers sports fan -- really bring that much more to the state university of New Jersey than a biology professor?  

So how about if we limit non-academic salaries to 10 times the median salary of a Rutgers employee?  It'd be a pretty popular bill, I would think.

If that hurts our ability to play in the Big 10, so what? I'd love to win a national championship, but I'd prefer that an extra few million a year go to academic scholarships based on economic need to help build our middle class.

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