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What's wrong when a college basketball coach makes more than the governor in a state?Posted Friday, March 26, 2010, at 1:37 PM
Indiana is a basketball crazed state and heaven forbid we speak ill about any of the roundball Gods.
But something is wrong in a state when the basketball coach for the least successful college program over the last couple of years is the highest paid among more than 75,000 state employees.
The Indianapolis Star recently published its annual database for state employee salaries, and IU men's basketball coach Tom Crean topped the list for the second straight year with a yearly base salary of $600,000.
The Star pointed out that Crean's salary is nearly equal to the salary of seven regular IU faculty members.
What is wrong with the picture here?
Creen earned $60,000 for each of his 10 wins this past season -- and that doesn't include all of the other cash he takes in for endorsements and his TV show.
His two-year record at IU is 16 wins and 46 losses.
How can the university justify this salary when they are laying off instructors because of budget constraints?
Following Creen on the state pay list is Purdue University President France Cordova at $450,000, followed by IU President Michael McRobbie at $425,000.
New IU athletic director Fred Glass comes in at fourth with a salary of $410,000, which is more than the fifth highest paid state employee, Ball State University President Jo Ann Gora, who earned $356,400 in 2009.
The rest of the top 10 includes Ball State head football coach Stan Parrish ($350,000); Purdue management school Dean Richard Cosier ($344,500); IU business management Dean Dan R. Dalton ($336,000); IU Medical Center Chair of Pediatrics Dr. Richard Schreiner ($333,653); and IU business school Dean Dan Smith ($333,520).
Incidentally, the state's chief executive Gov. Mitch Daniels earns $95,000 a year -- significantly less than IU women's basketball coach Felica Legette-Jack ($240,000), Purdue men's basketball coach Matt Painter ($230,00), Purdue women's basketball coach Sharon Versyp ($230,000); Purdue head football coach Danny Hope ($220,000); and Purdue assistant football coach Gary Nord $205,000.
Among other top state government officials, Indiana Supreme Court Justices make $151,328 while State Court of Appeals Judges are listed at $147,109 a year; Indiana State Police Superintendent Paul Whitesell makes $130,683, National Guard Adjunct General Martin Umbarger earns $129,294.
Indiana State Police troopers, on average, make $49,280 and according to the Star, 4.5 percent of the 80,161 state employees listed in the database earn $100,000 or more as a base salary.
The bulk of the work force, 61.6 percent, makes less than $50,000.
Overall, the average state employee makes about $45,299 and the average Indiana teacher makes $49,569 (according to www.teachingjobsportal.com).
I know athletics is big bucks for all the universities, but we all need to come back to earth.
And the sad thing about it is, Creen is not among the top paid college coaches.
At least 25 of the 347 Division I college basketball coaches now strolling the sidelines earn $1 million or more annually, not including potential bonuses, according to a recent story in Forbes magazine.
Topping the list is Kentucky's John Calipari, who makes about $4 million a year -- not including his fringes.
Following Calipari on the list are Florida's Billy Donovan $3.3 million a year; Kansas's Bill Self $3 million a year; Ohio State's Thad Matta $2.5 million a year; and University of Louisville's Rick Pitino pulls down $2.25 million a year.
As you can see, athletics is big money. If you don't believe it, try buying an affordable ticket to any college basketball or football game.
In the big picture of things, I guess we shouldn't feel too sorry for any of these coaching guys when the referees occasionally give them the shaft with a bad call on the basketball court.
Nick is the assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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