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WSU COACH: Isn’t education hurting for funds?

Letter by John C. Nicholson, Tacoma on Dec. 1, 2011 at 10:20 am with 40 Comments »
December 1, 2011 10:20 am

$2.5 million for a new Washington State football coach? I thought education was hurting for funds given the budget situation. And do they want a sales tax increase to help pay for education or a new football coach?

Sorry, folks, this just does not pass the smell test or any other test of common sense!

Leave a comment Comments → 40
  1. cclngthr says:

    Let us take $2.4 million of his salary and put it toward other education needs.

  2. old_benjamin says:

    How much does the football progam bring in? If it’s a net plus, it passes the profitability test.

  3. The letter writer is not considering revenue generated by having a top tier football program. Just a few televised games and increased ticket sales and WSU stuff, and you have a net gain. They don’t do things like this for the “student athletes”, remember, it’s all about money.

  4. The new PAC12 tv deal will bring in 20 million dollars annually to each of the pac 12 schools. So maybe your “smell test” did not include any research on the subject. Most colleges have certain programs that would be eliminated if it werent for the football revenue. College football is incrediably profitable for the universities such as Wash state. Try doing some research before you formulate an opinion

  5. cargilekm says:

    at this level a football coach isn’t paid by tax dollars, their paid from the money generated by the football program.
    try to learn something before you spout off st the mouth.

  6. want a low level athletic program? Pay low level wages

  7. philichi says:

    WSU did the rational thing. They found a coach that had a history of building a program and winning. WSU fans would expect nothing less. His salary is paid for by the program revenues. Good Job.

    Just think how we chose Senator Patty Murray. She has never run a business. She has never done anything in the real world.

    We have put her and others like her in charge of trillions of dollars. How is that working for us? Sort of funny. We make changes when we see a football program failing. When our county is about bankrupt, we stay with the amateurs.

  8. sandblower says:

    phil, government is not a business and business policies would not work. Senator Murray has done a great job considering the roadblocks put in her way by the Republican supermajority used to continue a filibuster. Your spin might work for amateurs and for those whose thinking is as corrupt as yours is. The rest of us see through it all the time.

  9. sandblower says:

    Mr. Nicholson should have researched his topic a little better it seems.

  10. muckibr says:

    Now, you know, I really thought that the original intent of colleges and universities was to offer people the opportunity to get an advance EDUCATION in furtherance of their life and career goals.

    And, I thought that school sports programs, at k-12 through college and university, were to offer an alternative form exercise and extra-curricular entertainment.

    In that regard, no coach in any school should receive any pay rate higher than any teacher or professor on the faculty. The continued focus on promoting college/university sports programs is a detriment to all the academic programs that should have a higher priority and more funding.

    This country needs to get back to focusing on whats REALLY IMPORTANT and NECESSARY at colleges and universities, and it ain’t sports!

  11. muckibr says:

    Bottom-line folks. If WSU can afford to pay the football coach two and a half million bucks, then WSU should be able to afford to cut the tuition costs for new students as well. Cut tuition in half, to allow more people to attend college.

  12. EthicalPuyallup says:

    Why do you think the charities hire high priced Directors/CEO’s??? Because they can increase income far more than their expense… leaving more to cover the rest of the charities (or in this case WSU Athletic Dept.) expenses. The only problem is when the feel gooders and the PC’ers that have no buisness experience come in and start making decisions based on what they think “feels” right.

  13. Hayseed says:

    It is common for schools to say that coach pay is pooled largely from TV, media and marketing contracts. But in 2010, only about 20% of FBS athletics departments were able to pay all their bills without help from university or state funds or student fees, according to a USA TODAY analysis of universities’ financial records.

  14. Arghhhhhhhh, the general public just has no common sense. His salary is NOT paid for with tax dollars.

  15. RW98512 says:

    “Murray received her Bachelor of Arts degree in physical education from Washington State University in 1972. She was a preschool teacher for several years and taught a parenting class at Shoreline Community College from 1984 to 1987.”

    As usual. The right wing attacks those that educate.

    Maybe we need more Senators that have Mitt Romney’s history of firing workers. That is the ideal in a high unemployment market.

  16. RW98512 says:

    muckibr – we disagree. NCAA athletics pays lots of bills for the state universities.

    Now, that being said, our disagreement certainly must befuddle the conspiracy theorists online.

  17. Hayseed says:

    jrdndd–look at the UW’s contract for ‘Sark’ and you might be surprised where the money comes from. His base salary of nearly $400K is taxpayer funded. And other salary funding appears to come from ‘college’ funding whereas other funding is from TV, Alumni,and Sponsors.

  18. LarryFine says:

    Good grief… I find myself sort-of in agreement with muckibr.

  19. philichi says:

    “Murray received her Bachelor of Arts degree in physical education from Washington State University in 1972. She was a preschool teacher for several years and taught a parenting class at Shoreline Community College from 1984 to 1987.”

    Would you hire this resume to manage your business or your portfolio?

    How about your country with a several trillion dollar budget? I know that a public compnay would have to expect far more than this.

  20. muckibr says:

    OMG!!! RW disagrees with me and LarryFine thinks he might agree with me on this topic. Surely that is one of the signs of the coming of The End of Days!!!

    RW… you really are kardnos, aren’t you? (Just kidding!!! I don’t even know who the h— this kardnos really is.) I respect your opinion on the coach’s salary, even though it’s wrong. You are entitled to be wrong every now and then. Just don’t let it happen too often.

    I don’t know what to say about Larry!

  21. RW98512 says:

    Having met the Senator and talked to her one on one, I’ll not take advantage of you on the subject.

    Wait. Maybe I will. If my business were one that required a rational, thoughtful person, as opposed to a rabid pack of jackals, Senator Murray would be my choice. Governing is remembering that our country is a mixture of people of different needs. “Business” minds (see Mitt Romney) forget about the people part of the equation.

    I voted for Senator Murray over Dino Rossi for many reasons. Primarily because she is an experienced government legislator, which is entirely different than someone that sees an opportunity in a bad economy and comes up with programs to take advantage of foreclosures.

    No Senator manages the entire budget for the United States. At the same time, Murray has many years experience over her most recent opponent in terms of what it takes to cooperatively get the job done.

    Now, if only there were Republicans that could cooperate.

    As to those managing portfolios, my impression of that business is much like Eddie Murphy’s impression in the movie “Trading Places” – “oh, you guys are like a couple a bookies!”

  22. RW98512 says:

    muckibr – I think you can find financial actuals on college sports programs that will demonstrate that the big sports – football and basketball – make serious money that pay for much more than their existence. It’s not about my opinion, but about the facts of the issue.

    As to LarryFine agreeing with you, then he must agree with me because you are me, or I am you. He must be smart enough to know that our disagreement is just a staged event for him to prove once and for all that you and I share the same skin. Afterall, it’s all about Larry.

  23. RW98512 says:

    philichi – BTW, George Bush had a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard. What good did that do our country? He and his majority still tried to spend for unfunded wars AND cut taxes to reduce the revenue. I’m confident that Harvard doesn’t teach that sort of math.

    Why don’t you tell us your view of Maria Cantwell, a business manager, but also a Democrat. If nothing else, it will be entertaining. She had $10,000,000 of her own to spend on her campaign. Must be doing something right.

  24. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    This should dispel all of the bogus notions contained in this thread/ LTE:


    Are any of the salaries of the University of Washington athletic coaches paid for by taxpayers?

    No state taxpayer dollars of any kind are used to fund the salaries of any UW athletic department employees, including all the coaches. The UW’s Intercollegiate Athletic Department is responsible for generating all the revenue it needs to operate its programs and maintain its facilities. There are no general fund tax dollars or any other tax dollars supporting the program. Nor are there any other institutional funds going to the program. And unlike many universities, there are no student fees or tuition dollars going to support athletics. All the department’s revenue comes from ticket and gate receipts, television and radio contracts, and philanthropic gifts. The only state contributions are a limited number of legislatively authorized tuition waivers granted years ago to help the state’s colleges and universities achieve gender equity in their athletic programs.

    What about athletic department salaries at Washington State University?

    No state funds are used to pay salaries for any WSU athletic department employees.



  25. College football, generates money by ticket sale, concessions, souvenir sales ( even to the non students), license plates with the school logo brings in money, The television rights will bring in 1.67 million to the school alone. If the school football team gets invited to a bowl game the school bring in around 350,000 even if they lose the game and more if they win then there’ s even more souvenir sales. Obvious you miss the mad dash everyone made to the sporting goods store when UW beat Nebraska in there meaningless bowl game. Then there the Alumni who donate to the team. Up until this year a freshman couldn’t get into UW unless he had outstanding grades or he/she was a athlete
    Why do you think the incident at Penn state was sweep under the rug because that football program brought in major cash.

  26. harleyrider1 says:

    AAHD. Evidenced by many posters here that cannot stay on topic. Focus. Email and exchange barbs among yourselves elsewhere.

    Topic: WSU Coach salary and education funding hurting

    Off topic: who are you, Senators Cantwell, Murray, George Bush, you’re wrong, I’m right, etc.

  27. beerBoy says:

    As long as universities’ semi-pro athletic programs are making money there really is not room to complain about their budgets (though a discussion about the priorities being displayed would make sense).

    However, many times those money-making programs are paying for the less profitable sports and not really helping the budget beyond athletics. And, I have seen universities devote resources to athletics that could have been devoted to other aspects of the university – at my present place of employment they have dedicated huge chunks of land to the creation of new softball fields that could have been utilized for the creation of new academic buildings….and the sports at this Uni have been a joke for quite some time. This, more than self-paying salaries for coaches, seems to be skewed priorities.

  28. RW98512 says:


  29. RW98512 says:

    You’re right, Harley. The comparison of Patty Murray in the 12:28 PM comment was totally out of topic. However, once the topic is opened, however out of context it might have been, it is now fair game.

    The same should be said about the contant personal digs and worries about who is which moniker, but that never gets addressed, does it?

  30. philichi says:

    RW98512 You are a good man to defend your friend, Patty Murray. Forgive me for being uncharitable toward her education and background.
    I have always known that the job of government is to allocate scarce resources. To do this correctly, it would be nice for her to be able to read and understand a balance sheet and income statement. Medicare, social security, the post office are now bankrupts. I could talk about the other programs. Just not enough room.
    Yes, I miss George Bush. and Yes, I wish that he, the Congress, and Senate wouldn’t have voted to go to Iraq. I wish that he could have privatised Social Security and slowed down Fannie Mae. However you and I know who kept him from that.
    Have a nice day.

  31. beerBoy says:

    Yes, I miss George Bush….I wish that he could have privatised Social Security …… However you and I know who kept him from that.

    The American public.

    You miss George Bush? Why?

  32. philichi says:

    beerBoy, I have friends that worked for W. They met with him every day. They love him and respect him. I am close to many in the Dallas community today. When he and Laura walk into any restaurant he is immediately given a standing ovation.

    It is truly a shame today that our government is haggling over a few bucks in a tax cut for the working people. We have more oil and gas in the ground than Saudi. Obama should just work to get fuel down to $2.00 per gallon. The economy would hum and people would like him again.
    He won’t even allow a pipe line. this is crazy this is national suicide. Please tell your lefty friends to allow him to build and drill!

  33. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    However, many times those money-making programs are paying for the less profitable sports…

    You can thank Title IX for that, bB. But the truth is that before Title IX, athletic programs at profitable schools just maintained huge cash surpluses – I am not aware of anything ever going back to the academic side.

    If the NCAA would do away with the sorts of PC rules that brought us Title IX, I would have no problem with profitable university athletics departments kicking some of their surplus money toward scholarship funds for non-student athletes. But right now I would bet better than 90% of universities with athletic departments have very little cash remaining after funding the myriad money-losing athletic activities and scholarships they are currently required – by either NCAA rule, or Federal or State law – to fund.

  34. beerBoy says:

    I am not aware of anything ever going back to the academic side.

    And that begs the question….what is the benefit to colleges?

  35. spotted1 says:

    I love when I hear people complaining about coaches salaries. They also complain about ticket prices, cost of food and drink at the venue, cost of parking, etc. Yet, on game day, they are their paying it.

    Do you know why they can afford to pay such high salaries? Because we willingly and happily pay for it out of our own pocket because we want to see the team play.

  36. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    And that begs the question….what is the benefit to colleges?

    Really, bB? Your being so close, by employment, to university-level politics, you should know the answer is obviously money. You would be incredibly naive to believe that high rollers/ big time donors only donate to athletic departments, or that academic and athletic philanthropy are mutually exclusive.

    I am acquainted with two such “whales”, and I can assure you the level of their generosity outside of athletics is not simply tied to where their seats are located in the Don James Center. These two alumni easily give more annually to the to the University of Washington Foundation than they do to Husky Athletics. But they also use those donations as leverage when they sense the football program or, to a lesser extent, basketball program are headed in the wrong direction.

    You may think that shallow, but I ask; without a major college athletic program – be it football or basketball – to keep alumni involved and connected to their alma mater long after graduation, do you not see how much more difficult it would be for colleges and universities to raise money for things like expansion, research, student aid, etc?

    Don’t get me wrong, there are examples such as Nike U (aka the University of 0regon) where the level of athletic success and corporate support (from Nike in particular) are not in any way commensurate with academics. But if you really look at the big picture, examples such as u0 are the exception.

  37. beerBoy says:

    So the benefits to a University of having semi-pro teams is the enhanced visibility that might provide a shirt-tail effect for potential donors to throw a few dollars to the academic/research side of the University after they have written bigger checks for the sports entertainment side of the business?

    That may be the reality but it seems like a long road to take to provide a rationale for why Universities are in the business of sports which have absolutely nothing to do with their central mission.

  38. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    bB, we’ve been down this road before, not going to revisit. But I will recap;

    • Athletics bring donations to the universities – donations earmarked both for athletic and academic end uses
    • Athletic scholarships provide academic opportunities and open doors for students who would otherwise have no shot at enrollment, often more for economic reasons than academic
    • Graduation rates for student athletes are higher than those of non-student athletes.

    It’s fair to argue that admissions standards and course requirements can be significantly lower for recruits in money-generating sports – particularly football and basketball – and that special “majors” are commonly created for them. And it’s also fair to question the practice of admitting student athletes with lower GPA’s and SAT scores than are required for admittance by non-student athletes. But I would refer you to point two, above, and remind you that not only do a vast majority of enrolled non-student athletes approve of the relaxed rules, but opportunities still abound at other institutions for the few who are not accepted to a university for lack of room in a given class. Not so for the inner-city kid with a single mom, and a 2.75 GPA.

    I would think a self-professed strong liberal like you might have a bit of compassion. But then I have also seen the complaints from academia over the years – complaints mostly having to do with the huge sums of cash that flow through athletic departments… and which complaints really ring hollow these days, given the even larger sums going to academia.

  39. beerBoy says:

    Vox – consider the recent ESPN reports about the connections between gangs and college sports. As well as numerous incidents of corruption at various campuses. There are numerous very serious ramifications to this that must be considered/controlled.

  40. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    Once again bB, we find ourselves in complete agreement.

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