Thursday, January 29, 2009

Spend Money to Make Money

Interesting article on Sports Illustrated's website regarding the escalation of salaries among assistant college football coaches. Seems that Tennessee has lured away the top recruiters from four other schools and, combined, their assistant coaches will make almost a million dollars more than any other SEC school. Why is this interesting if you're not a sports fan? Because of the rationale for the move:

"Coach Kiffin has done a tremendous job assembling one of the best staffs in the SEC and the country," said [Athletic Director Mike] Hamilton. "Our funding model requires football to be successful in order to fund other sports and not detract from the University's mission. This team of experienced coaches understands that vision."

For Hamilton, the spending spree was a no-brainer. Tennessee has a 102,000-seat stadium to fill and an $87 million athletic department to fund. According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, football revenue accounts for 85 percent of that budget. The Vols can't afford 5-7 seasons (last year marked their second losing season in four years), and the best way to right that in a hurry is to bring in better players.

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