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WALLY HALL: High-paid coaches' wallets in virus bubble

by Wally Hall | July 22, 2020 at 2:38 a.m.

On Sunday, our man Tom Murphy had a great story with University of Arkansas Athletic Director Hunter Yurachek about the financial status of the Razorbacks program.

Of course, there is concern if the football season is canceled. That would mean the loss of millions.

Yet, Yurachek seems to be one of those people who doesn't see a glass half full or half empty.

He's more of a realist and is listening to medical people, his chancellor and the SEC before discarding Plan A -- playing this season -- for Plan B -- whatever that is.

So far, the SEC has not canceled any sports, which is becoming a common practice around the country. Canceling any sport is a red flag about football this season.

Last week, took a hard look at which college head coaches have had adjustments made to their income.

Hopefully you are sitting down when you read this, but Nick Saban has not given up a penny of his $8.9 million per year.

Nor has Clemson's Dabo Swinney been asked to survive on less than his $9.3 million.

That's not to say they won't be asked to take a little off the top if there is no season, but so far they are still fine-dining while most of the country is cooking at home or taking out.

At Clemson, 4.4% of the athletic budget comes from student fees, and Alabama gets 1.5%.

Texas A&M works strictly off money raised and donations, and Jimbo Fisher is still to be paid his $7.5 million this season.

Georgia gets 2.2% from student fees, and Kirby Smart is still making $6.9 million.

Gus Malzahn remains at $6.8 million while Auburn gets 3.6% of its money from students.

Florida gets 1.4%, and Dan Mullen still makes $6.1 million.

High-profile coaches who have taken a reduction include Michigan's Jim Harbaugh and Oklahoma's Lincoln Riley.

In basketball, coaches who have not taken a cut include Kentucky's John Calipari ($8.2 million per year), UCLA's Mick Cronin ($5.5 million), Tennessee's Rick Barnes ($4.7 million), Texas Tech's Chris Beard ($4.4 million) and North Carolina's Roy Williams ($4.1 million).

A few who are being paid less are Duke's Mike Krzyzewski (was $7.3 million), Kansas' Bill Self ($4 million), Michigan State's Tom Izzo ($4.2 million) and Louisville's Chris Mack ($4.1 million).

The SEC is No. 1 in the least amount of schools whose coaches have taken a pay cut. South Carolina, Ole Miss and Missouri football and basketball coaches took a reduction.

The Big 12 had five schools, the ACC seven, the Pac-12 eight and the Big Ten nine.

There may be coaches who volunteered to take a pay cut -- although highly doubtful -- and were told to wait and see.

Yurachek has head coaches pay under control, or as much as possible in this broken business model.

Coaching salaries are something that could really hurt athletic programs if football isn't played. And no one is really even talking about no basketball season, and that's where it all started in March.

Currently, there are 33 head coaches with guaranteed buyouts of at least $10 million if they get fired.

That's just crazy.

There is going to be some adjusting to this madness in the near future because the outrageous salaries came directly from TV profits, and those will change drastically if there is no season.

ESPN has been laying off people for more than a year. NBC is expected to announce major cuts this week.

Head coaches have had a great run at being overpaid, but reality is setting in all over the country.


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