Documents on file at the Fulton County Courthouse in Atlanta offer an unusual and detailed picture of the variety of perquisites that often accompany a major college coaching job. The documents are contained in a lawsuit filed by former Georgia Tech football coach Pepper Rodgers against the Georgia Tech Athletic Association.
Fired in December 1979 with two years remaining on a three-year contract, Rodgers is demanding reimbursement for the perquisites he lost when he was let go as head coach. Had the contract run until expiration at the end of 1981, Rodgers contended, he would have received in addition to his base salary, the following perquisites: 1) General expense money $2,400.00 2) Automobile $10,221.12 3) Gas and oil for automobile $3,855.00 4) Capital City Club membership $14,100.00 5) Cherokee Town & Country Club membership $9,308.00 6) East Lake Country Club membership $1,940.00 7) Free meals at Georgia Tech training table $6,531.00 8) Atlanta Sporting House membership $1,760.00 9) Eight season tickets to Georgia Tech home football games $2,008.00 10) Two reserved booths at Georgia Tech home football games $17,640.00 11) Six season tickets to Georgia Tech home basketball games $1,512.00 12) Four season tickets to Altanta Falcon home football games $1,008.00 13) Four tickets to out-of-town Georgia Tech football games $420.00 14) Home football game pocket money $600.00 15) Away football game pocket money $750.00 16) Free parking at Georgia Tech sporting events $76.00 17) Secretary $28,000.00 18) Administrative Assistant $46,500.00 19) Free admission to Georgia Tech home baseball games $30.00 20) Trips to coaches conventions, meetings, and clinics and football practices of pro and college teams $4,200.00 21) Free housing $18,375.00 22) $400,000 life insurance policy $3,630.00 23) Free lodging at selected Holiday Inns $800.00 24) Financial gifts from alumni and supporters of Georgia Tech $10,670.00 25) Terminus International Tennis Club membership $1,334.00 26) Tickets to Atlanta Hawks basketball games and Atlanta Braves baseball games $1,240.00 27) Automobile insurance $2,332.00 28) Television show $77,500.00 29) Radio show $15,000.00 30) Football school $16,500.00 31) Speeches and banquets $5,500.00
Items one through 27, Rodgers contended, were nontaxable. Given his current 50 percent tax bracket status, any cash settlement would have to be double the face value of those 27 items for him to gain full recovery, he argued.
The lawsuit is seeking $382,480.24 from the Georgia Tech Athletic Association for items one through 27 and $114,500 compensation for items 28 through 31. The total sought is $496,980.24.