At a time when college football programs are coming under fire for lionizing their coaches, Ohio State University hired Urban Meyer and agreed to pay him $4 million a year. That makes Meyer one of the highest paid college football coaches in the country.
In addition to his base salary, Meyer will receive lump sums in 2014, 2016 and 2018 if he stays in the job. He can also earn six-digit bonuses for things like winning games, making it to bowl games and improving player graduation rates. And then there are the perks: $1,200 a month to spend on cars, a golf course membership, football tickets, a fellowship in his name and use of a private jet.
Meyer will earn three times more than Ohio State President E. Gordan Gee, the nation’s highest paid university president. On most campuses, coaches top the payroll. And despite the economy, budget cuts and increasing tuition, coach salaries continue to climb.
Earlier this month, USA Today analyzed the salaries of football coaches at major schools: The average salary went from $1.4 million in 2006 to $2.125 million in 2011 — that’s a 52-percent jump. Meanwhile, more than 80 percent of athletic departments relied on university or state funds or student fees in some way.
A great quote from that article: “The hell with gold,” higher education lawyer Sheldon Steinbach says. “I want to buy futures in coaches' contracts.”