Docs and jocks: MDs, coaches among states’ highest-paid
U.S. News - 07/10/2015
Price tags for superstar coaches like Stoops ($5 million a year from the University of Oklahoma) and Pitino ($5.75 million from the University of Louisville) are “becoming an issue for a lot of state legislatures,” says Dan Lebowitz, executive director of the Center for the Study of Sport in Society at Northeastern University in Boston.
Even though Kentucky’s got at least one problem a well-placed $5 million could help fix, Lebowitz says most people are good with the Bluegrass State paying corporate CEO wages to Pitino because of the “prestige points” the Cardinals bring to the state through a winning season – one that’s typically broadcast worldwide on outlets like ESPN or CBS Sports. That’s in addition to the excitement and pride college football and basketball generate among residents, students, well-heeled alumni and grantmakers enticed to drop big dollars on university research programs.
“It’s the enormous reach and the power of sport,” Lebowitz says. “People don’t agree on politics or religion. We live in an increasingly diverse world. The one common denominator is people’s love of sports.”