Miami Football: The Beast Unleashed – Time To Pay Up
As Diddy so blatantly put it a while ago, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby.” That mantra goes for a lot of things, but it’s especially true in the world of college athletics. Unfortunately for our little engine that could, The U, sometimes we fall on the short end of that stick. There’s been a couple of moves lately which have me concerned.
A few weeks ago WRs coach George McDonald jumped ship to head to Arkansas. According to reports out of Hog Central, McDonald will make roughly $275,000 to coach the WRs at Arkansas. Meanwhile, our good old bud Randy Shannon is set to make $315,000 as the Hogs’ LBs coach. Ok, you’re thinking, Miami has to be able to pay assistants that type of money. Wait, it gets worse.
Virginia coach Mike London, who himself makes over $2 million (more than our beloved Al Golden), has just put a new super staff together. Former NC State head man Tom O’Brien becomes the Assistant Head Coach for Offense and TEs coach. He’ll make $450,000. John Tenuta, who used to have our number at GT, will be Virginia’s Associate Head Coach for Defense and DC. He’ll get paid a cool $500,000. After signing bonuses and other incentives, Mike London just paid two assistants over a million dollars. If you’re Blake James, Al Golden, and everyone else on the UM campus involved with athletics, you just got really clammy.
I’ve been saying for a while now that Al Golden is underpaid. You can throw his record in my face all you want, but the bottom line is, the going rate for a
decent college head coach is over the $2 million mark. The great ones make over the $4 million mark. Al isn’t at the $2 million mark yet, according to reports. Miami doesn’t release coaches’ salaries. If Al is underpaid, I can only imagine assistants are being underpaid for the going rate. Not good Mav.
I think staff consistency is one of the most important keys to winning in college football. Once guys get used to working with each other, and get the system, they can turn into a pretty good unit. However, if guys start leaving and there is constant change, things tend to go helter skelter. Sure assistants should move on if they are getting a promotion. If Coach McDonald wanted to be an OC somewhere, who could fault him for leaving. But to leave for the same gig, well, to me that’s all about the money.
Now I can sit here and preach that UM needs to pay it’s assistants more, but it won’t do much good. In order to shell out the money, you need to have it in your pocket. The U is in the midst of the Momentum 2 campaign which is set to raise $1.6 billion. Obviously a good chunk of that is for the medical school, but the athletics department is the second biggest fundraiser on campus, yet it’s not enough. The Hurricane Club, Miami’s donor organization, is hoping to increase their amount raised to $10.3 million this year. To put things in perspective, Tide Pride, the Alabama booster club, raises more than $25 million for their program.
While Blake James and my good friend Jesse Marks ( Associate Athletics Director for Development) can go around town shaking change out of all the big donors, in reality, what needs to happen is the masses need to give what they can. Look, it’s still a rough go with the economy. I get that. However, if we want our school to be the best, than we need to help push it up the mountain. Not everyone can be a Golden Cane or Living Scholar. However, you can get into the Hurricane Club for as little as $40 or $50. Most of us have that laying around somewhere in unused holiday gifts we can sell on E-Bay (shhhh don’t tell my wife.)
The U has done a nice job recently working on the facilities part of things. No more will that be a reason why Miami can’t compete with the competition. Now it’s time to work on coaches’ salaries. Money should never be a reason why a coach has to jump ship from The U. If Virginia is going to pay out, The U needs to be right behind them. Right now the Hurricane Club has roughly 5500 members. They are hoping to get up to 6k. I see no reason why their can’t be twice as many members. If an extra 6k people gave only $40, that’s an extra $240,000 that Al Golden could use to keep assistants happy. Am I saying something that’s outlandish here?
I didn’t think so.