Letters to the Editor

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EDUCATION: Cut university coaches’ salaries

Letter by Meighan A. Zimmerman, University Place on Jan. 19, 2012 at 10:31 am with 11 Comments »
January 19, 2012 10:52 am

The idea that the state government threatens to decrease the budget for basic education and levy equalization in our state for K-12 students while the University of Washington pays football coaches $400,000 to $1.9 million per season is deplorable.

I tallied the five highest paid coaches in Washington state and, if their salaries were dropped to $400,000 per year, the savings would be over $3 million. The university’s president makes $550,000, so why should one coach make almost four times that of the boss?

Professional athletes make large salaries due to their short career lifespan, but coaches are capable of working well into normal retirement years. I do respect the work that coaches do and the enthusiasm and exposure a good team brings to a university, but I don’t believe it is a responsible use of state funds (the people’s money) to pay coaches beyond a half-million dollars a year.

Just think of all the Washington state K-12 kids who could be better educated and more qualified for college level coursework or all the tuition adjustment that might assist middle-income students to receive a university education by simply switching our budget priority to building brains instead of brawn.

Leave a comment Comments → 11
  1. philichi says:

    Another nice letter from a person that hasn’t had the time to understand the issue.

    First of all the saleries are paid by the athletic departments not the State. Second of all Perhaps we should pay our coaches $75k. We will let the other national colleges get the $800k guys. How do you think that our teams and recruiting will do? will we be able to fill
    a large stadium?

    Perhaps the next topic should be on the unfairness of gravity. It doesn’t seem right that things are held down.

  2. Great idea Meighan!!! And take all the PROFITS college sports events earn and put that money back into academics where it will do a lot more good!

  3. philichi says:

    Muckibr,
    Perhaps all of the money should be simply deposited into the Teacher union bank account. It gets complicated when they have to go through the teaching and learning sherade.

  4. philichi, now you’re just being silly!

  5. philichi says:

    Half of the State’s budget goes to Education. The budget is controlled by the most powerful and scary unions in the state. Its sole mission is to keep people elected that will maintain the status quo. In any other discussion we would call this The Cosa Nostra. In Washington we call it the WEA. Is that silly?

  6. aislander says:

    …take the profits from college sports and put the money back into academics…

    Most college sports don’t make a profit, but thanks to varsity football and basketball, sports programs can be self-sustaining.

    So, just SAY you want to kill field hockey, softball, baseball, soccer and so on, if that is the result you seek. Men’s wrestling and swimming have already been Title Nined.

    If the major sports programs are emasculated (THERE’S a word you don’t encounter often, anymore!) along with the rest of American society, there won’t BE any profits to distribute.

    But liberals have trouble with the latter concept in the larger economy, too….

  7. volvo1999 says:

    Dear Meighan A. Zimmerman,

    Before you write a letter to the editor, check your facts. Coaches salaries are paid by booster funds, This argument has been brought up before, typical liberal argument, don’t let the facts get into the way of my liberal feelings. Ha

  8. as pointed out above. coaches are paid by the athletic dept. and not the state. and the coaches being paid so handsomely are involved in the money-generating sports. football and basketball are the only forms of revenue these programs receive. but we only get those funds if the team produces. which requires quality coaching. we pay the coaches well so that the other sports can exist.
    oh and sports are advertising for the schools.

  9. As much as it galls me that coaches are paid such astronomical salaries as it displays how much more our society values sports entertainment than education, the letter writer is confused.

    As others have pointed out – semi-pro sports funding (for the most part) comes from other sources than the general operating fund (however it is rather disingenuous to claim that the University, in providing the land, the stadium, special courses for dummies with athletic gifts isn’t spending money to support the team).

    I would much prefer that Universities restrict their efforts to research and education and allow private corporations to fund semi-pro sports leagues – but – the coaches’ extravagant salaries are not impacting the general budget.

  10. truthbusterguy says:

    NO One, I don’t care what they do, how much they make in ticket sales, that are paid by taxpayers should never make more than the President of the United States.

    A public servant is a public servant, nothing more.

    Paying coaches millions is what’s wrong with the system. Is throwing and bouncing a ball our priorty in this country. Schools are for learning, not ticket sales.

  11. aislander says:

    truthbusterguy: Are you saying no one should be paid more than our current POTUS actually makes or what he is worth, because no one could live on the latter…

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