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THEY'RE IN THE MONEY: COLLEGE COACHING IS BIG BUSINESS NOW
Published November 21, 1997
The earning power of "big-time" college football coaches -- generated from "huge compensation packages," bonuses and endorsements -- was examined in a front-page cover story by Dodd & Pearson of USA TODAY. USA TODAY obtained football coaches' salary information from 87 of the 112 Division I-A schools, and "[t]hough some schools shielded the outside income that typically makes up 50% to 75% of a coach's salary, the picture that emerges is clear: The symbol" for college football in '97 is the logos of sports companies such as Nike, adidas and Reebok. But shoe deals "are just one aspect of what has happened in the last decade to coaches' contracts, now loaded with perks and incentives that can push the total package to three times that of the university president." Coaches will average $140,000 in base salary this year and $208,000 in outside income from radio/TV shows, public appearances and shoe or apparel endorsements. Almost two dozen coaches have deals exceeding $500,000. Among teams in this week's Top 25, head coaches average $560,000, excluding performance bonuses. Outside income ranges from $1,000 to Univ. of FL coach Steve Spurrier's $1.8M. Also, most bonuses "reward on-field performance of the team, while incentives tied to academics are much rarer, and less lucrative." The piece also charts estimated earnings of the Top 25 Div. I-A coaches, listing base salary, estimated outside income related to athletics and bonuses that can be earned (USA TODAY, 11/21).