More on football coach compensation. Chris Isidore of CNNMoney.com produced an insightful article on the broader issues surrounding Tommy Tuberville’s salary increase at Texas Tech:
College coaches’ fat paychecks stir controversy (CNNMoney.com)
The story provides a more reasoned discussion than the headline suggests. It explains the rationale behind the adjustment and also considers the degree to which the coaches’ market is inflated.
Isidore’s analysis is fine, but it led me to an odd article from Smith economist Andrew Zimbalist.
Isidore quoted Zimbalist from an August commentary in the Harvard Business Review: “Higher salaries do not correlate with higher performance or revenues in athletics, never mind with a strengthening of the educational mission of the institutions.”
Fair enough, but then again, everybody knows the problem. What’s his solution?
To solve the problem of ever-increasing salaries, Zimbalist recommended a salary cap. I was intrigued by how he might position that argument, so I visited the Harvard Business Review to get the full explanation.
Here’s what he said:
“A salary cap would meet with fierce resistance from the NCAA, of course. The NCAA has long functioned as a sort of trade association for coaches, athletic directors and conference commissioners. Why would they want to cap themselves?”
That is an incredibly odd statement.
First, Zimbalist overlooks the fact that college presidents sit at the top of the NCAA structure. Zimbalist may see them as part of his NCAA conspiracy, but my personal view is that they would be thrilled if somebody could wave a magic wand and enable them to control coaches’ salaries.
There’s also the matter of history. Zimbalist certainly must be aware that the NCAA did attempt to cap salaries once by limiting the level of pay for entry-level basketball coaches in the mid-1990s. That legislation was considered antitrust and ended up costing the Association $54 million.
Zimbalist acknowledged that his proposal might raise antitrust concerns but glossed over that by saying Congress or the Justice Department surely would grant an exemption, if only the right people would ask.
My crystal ball isn’t that finely tuned as Zimbalist’s, so I struggle with how readily that antitrust exemption request would be granted. But I do have a question. If the answer is that obvious, why do Congress and the Justice Department have to wait for anybody to ask?
Anger management needed. Conference USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky reprimanded UTEP coach Tim Floyd Thursday after Floyd had to be escorted off the court by a police officer after being ejected.
Commissioner reprimands Tim Floyd (The Associated Press; accompanied by video)
Holy Family coach resigns. Holy Family men’s basketball coach John O’Connor resigned Thursday after a week of national publicity resulting from his shove of former player Matt Kravchuk.
John O’Connor resigns from Holy Family (The Associated Press)
Before the resignation, O’Connor and Kravchuk met face-to-face on “Good Morning, America.”
“Matt, this was an accident. I was just trying to make us a better team and make us more competitive and in doing so an accident happened. It was unintentional by me and I’m really sorry that it happened,” O’Connor said.
Said Kravchuk: “To be honest, it’s kind of hard to accept your apology just because you claim it’s justified and you claim you weren’t crossing the line. I came to Holy Family to play basketball and now I’m injured and I can’t play. And I can’t play for you anymore because as your player I’m supposed to be able to respect you but I don’t feel I can do that anymore.”
International players in college tennis. You wouldn’t necessarily expect the British Broadcasting Corporation to look at the influx of international players in college tennis, but that’s what it did in a report released Thursday.
The report isn’t pro or con. Rather, it lays out the perspectives of a sampler of individuals affiliated with college tennis.