One couldn’t help but notice the carnage at the end of college football’s regular season. Coaches everywhere were fired or forced out. Some of those coaches even had winning records. Even the coach at my Division III alma mater didn’t survive the past few seasons of mediocrity.
Are college football fans just nuts or have these coaches created the monster of expectations by earning as much as $5 million dollars per year? With that kind of money "It’s just win, baby" and that means nothing short of championships and New Year’s Day bowls.
But then a revelation. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania ruled that Joe Paterno’s salary must be revealed to the public for the first time. Speculation had put his salary at more than $1 million a year (which would have still been a deal in the present coaching market). Paterno has been the head coach at Penn State for 42 years. That tenure includes national championships, numerous top ten seasons and has made him one of the winningest coaches ever in Division I college football history.
So his salary? Drumroll please . . . $512,664.
Still a substantial sum of money but nothing approaching the dizzying sums of money that several other college coaches make including Iowa’s very own Kirk Ferentz.
Is there a lesson somewhere here?
photo of Paterno statute on flickr by audreyjm529