The news that has dominated the media and discussions in coffee shops, around water coolers, etc. across the country is all about the Penn State University child molestation scandal, and to say that it is a sad situation is a total understatement. Assuming all of the allegations and suspicions are true, this entire situation could have been prevented, but like so many previous sickening criminal acts, authorities will now take remedial action after the fact.
I find all the outrage being uttered by many public officials, university officials, and those involved in various athletic programs to be hollow and off the point. Had the proper perspective existed at Penn State and many of Colleges/Universities all over the country this scandal would not have happened, but football in this case took precedence over appropriate institutional controls.
It has been widely reported that football at Penn State brings between $70 and $80 million annually to the school. As a result, the school has one of the lowest state supported percentages of budget in the nation.
The root of this scandal and the cause of many of our nation’s problems are simply MONEY, GREED, AND POWER. When you look at many other grievous issues of the day, you find the cause is often the same MONEY, GREED, AND POWER.
Recently USA Today ran articles reporting the salary levels of college athletic directors and another listing the salary totals for football coaches. That prompted me to investigate the annual salary reports for the presidents of major universities around the country. Those reports allowed me to conclude that apparently football makes so much money that the football coach is very frequently paid more money than the ADs or even the presidents who are the ultimate leaders in the pecking order.
I think it is fair to say that in far too many cases football coaches have had inappropriate influence and control beyond both their ADs and university presidents. The coaches have a strong influence where alumni contributions are concerned.
One of the reasons it is so expensive to send our children to institutions of higher learning, is because the presidents, athletic directors, and coaches are being compensated at lavish and unjustified levels. Winning has become more important than learning and protecting our children, which is simply tragic and we must get our priorities in proper order ASAP.
If you’re interested in further details you should look at any of these links:
Nick Saban, head coach at Alabama makes $4,183,333; Univ. of Texas coach Mack Brown receives $2,293,361; Illinois coach Ron Zook is paid $1,750,000; Vanderbilt Athletic Director Dureal Williams is paid $2,560,505; new Ohio State University AD Gene Smith is paid $1,024,546; Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbuck receives $932,232, Duke AD Kevin White is paid $908,000.
Compare those salary levels to the top ten earning university presidents. The top pay goes to Ohio State University’s E. Gordon Gee at $1,818, 911 down to the 10th on the list, who is Michael M. Crow of Arizona State University at $728,350 you can see that virtually every President receives substantially less than the football coach and in many cases the AD compared to the institution’s Chief Executive Officer.
The football programs and in some cases the basketball programs rule the roost and that is why tragically a situation was permitted to brew like the one that occurred at Penn State University. I say…Why have we permitted the priorities of institutions to fall to this tragic condition?
Back to my earlier point, it is the vast amounts of money and the greed of the leadership to guarantee the continuing flow of dollars into the coffers of institutions nationwide. Sadly, I suspect there are many other cases of athletic influence covering up campus situations involving administrators, professors, or students. Hopefully the PSU scandal has sent Presidents, Boards of Trustees, Athletic Departments and others across the country into executive session to make sure their asses are covered. The country and college fans of any sport should not have to experience one more disgusting act to happen before corrective action is taken.
The Penn State University story has yet to totally unfold and it is certain to be disturbing, and I pray we learn and take appropriate action to prevent another tragic occurrence. Our children are the future of this country and they deserve our love and protection.