Culture

Pac-12 football salaries: Whittingham’s new deal and our look at the most overpaid (and underpaid) coaches


In an ongoing effort, commissioner George Kliavkoff is attempting to convince Pac-12 presidents and chancellors that investing in football can provide beneficial returns for athletic departments and the campus community.

“Historically, I don’t think we’ve made a great case for the ROI of footbalI,’’ Kliavkoff told the Hotline following the 2021 season. “I’m not going to take the opportunity to speak to my 12 bosses without talking about it.”

Kliavkoff need not worry about Utah’s Taylor Randall. The first-year president clearly believes in football’s immense ROI.

Last week, Utah revealed a massive contract extension for coach Kyle Whittingham, who will receive $41 million over the next six years, culminating in an $8 million guarantee for the 2027 season.

The revised contract, coming a few months after the school’s first appearance in the Rose Bowl, makes Whittingham the top-paid public school coach in the Pac-12.

But perhaps the most interesting aspect of the deal is the university’s willingness to compensate Whittingham if a series of facility projects are not completed in a timely manner.

According to USA Today, which closely tracks coaching contracts across major college football:

“The introduction of the contractual facilities commitments, backed by what amount to $400,000 in financial penalties for the school, are even more unusual.

“Two of the fix-ups are relatively cosmetic: New graphics and carpeting for the football building. The other involves a nearly $62 million indoor practice facility for the team, which currently shares an indoor facility with other Utah teams and local recreation programs …

“Construction on the new facility must begin by July 1, 2023 and the university must assume occupancy by Dec. 31, 2024. If any deadline is missed, Whittingham must be paid $100,000 within 60 days.”

In other words, the Utes put themselves on the hook for resource investment — a move seemingly more likely to occur in the Big Ten or SEC than the Pac-12.

The facilities provision “helps the organization to keep focused on certain aspects, particularly as you go through your approval processes that are needed with your overall leadership,” Utah athletic director Mark Harlan told USA Today.

Harlan’s plan would not have been possible without support from Randall, who was appointed president last summer after a long tenure as dean of the business school.

Randall is a Utah alumnus and has witnessed the impact of football success on the campus writ large — first with Urban Meyer, then with Whittingham and the move into the Pac-12.

As we outline below, the revised contract vaults Whittingham’s guaranteed compensation into rarefied air within the conference.

(Salary figures from university disclosures or published reports. USC and Stanford are not required to make contracts publicly available.)

USC’s Lincoln Riley
Signed through: N/A
Average annual salary: N/A
Comment: Riley’s deal, which will eventually appear in USC’s publicly-available tax filings, is believed to carry a $100 million value over 10 years. If the Trojans reach the playoff this season or next, he might seem like a bargain.

Stanford’s David Shaw
Signed through: N/A
Average annual salary: N/A
Comment: The three-time conference champ is believed to earn $6 million to $7 …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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