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Know What The World Needs? More Bowls!

Nassau,_Bahamas_welcome_gateway Were you worried that the little guys of the college football world were going to be be left home for the holidays?  Were you fretting over the possibility of not seeing, say, a matchup of Northern Illinois and Texas-San Antonio?

No need to fear, more bowl games are near.

According to Brett McMurphy of ESPN.com — Is there a better college football reporter in the country? — the five conferences that left behind by the SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, ACC and Pac-12 will form their own new bowls in order to ensure that their teams get to have a little Christmastime fun, too.  The AAC, MAC, MWC, Sun Belt and Conference USA are starting three new bowl next season.  Those games will be played in Florida (one in Miami and one in Boca Raton) and in the Bahamas.

While 39 bowls is ridiculous, we gotta admit that the idea of football in the Bahamas is pretty cool.  The stadium that will house the game might be tiny, but we at MrSEC.com might click over and watch a few minutes of Northern Illinois/Texas-San Antonio if it’s coming from Nassau.

The new playoff system, a new bevy of big-bowl tie-ins, a selection committee to pick the teams for both and a host of new big-conference deals — all facing one another and shutting out most of the little guys — will all commence next season.  And now the little guys will have some new destinations to aim for, too.

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Which League Has Biggest Gap Between Football Salaries And Teaching Salaries? The SEC

mortar-board-on-footballCollege football coaches make more than university professors.

Do we need to hand out smelling salts after delivering such shocking news?  Of course not.  Because that news isn’t shocking at all to anyone.

The website InsideHigherEd.com reports on a new study that in part explores the discrepancies between teaching salaries and football coaching salaries.  That study was conducted by three scholars and can be found here.  The slimmed down version in InsideHigherEd.com can be found here.  The title of the report is “Disproportionate Paychecks.”

But we ask, disproportionate in what way?

If salaries were handed out based upon value to society, there’s no question professors should make more than football coaches.  That’s a given.  You’d be hard-pressed to find even a football fan batty enough to argue differently.

But salaries are not handed out based on value to society.  At universities — like most businesses — paychecks are often determined by the amount of money a person helps to create for his employer.  It’s a question of value.  And as the old saying goes, you won’t find 90,000 people showing up on a Saturday to watch a chemistry exam.

Fair?  Certainly not.  Reality?  Yes.

So it should come as no surprise that the site finds that: “Coaches’ salaries increase year after year at much higher rates — even as many colleges say they are engaged in belt-tightening across the board — and that pattern is driven by the institutions with the largest athletic programs.”

But there is a reason we’ve chosen to discuss this topic on a site that covers SEC athletics.  According to InsideHigherEd.com, among all conferences “the SEC saw the highest escalation in football coaching salaries” between 2005 and 2011.  The report states:

 

“In that conference — home to about a quarter of the nation’s 23 athletic programs where revenues actually outpace expenses — instructional salaries rose 15.5% between 2006 and 2011, from $70,886 to $81,758.  At the same time, football coaching salaries increased 128.9%, from $3,147,149 to $5,928,989.”

 

Again, everyone should be fully aware that football — on most campuses — is responsible for the huge revenue stream known as television money.  In addition, thanks to many millions of Americans watching college games on television, football has also become the best form of advertising most schools have.  Armed with that knowledge, it doesn’t a university’s board much time to decide who’ll get the biggest salary on campus.

But here’s the key part of the study in our view — The fact that the SEC has the largest gap between football salaries and teaching salaries only furthers the stereotype that Mike Slive’s league is a so-so academic conference.  And that’s a stereotype Slive and the SEC’s presidents have been trying to overcome through the creation of an academic consortium and with the addition of two more AAU schools in Missouri and Texas A&M (bringing the league total to four with Florida and Vanderbilt).

InsiderHigherEd.com provides a chart comparing the salary information from all Division I conferences.  Below we’ll compare just the SEC’s growth numbers (from 2005 to 2011) to those of the other 10 FBS conferences:

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