Paula, Harvey Perlman, Jimmy Sexton discussed on ESPN Daily

ESPN Daily


So Paula, these are obviously massive sums of dead money. Where does all of it come from? It comes from boosters. It comes from ticket sales. It comes from TV contracts. It comes from all of these outside places. When you say booster, Paula, that's a term that we hear a zillion times. I think I know what it is, but I'm also not entirely sure. So how would you define what a booster is? I would define a booster as someone who is a graduate of the university or who has very strong ties to the university who has a lot of money who has a lot of influence, politically and within the social environment of the fan base. I think sometimes people use the term booster and donor interchangeably, although I think the difference is a donor is someone who gives a lot of money to the university, a booster is someone who gives a lot to the university and then expect some leverage. They're the ones who can pick up the phone and call the AD or call the president. And in that sense, I think they do have a lot of influence. Let's not forget the fact that if they're offering to donate X amount of money, so the school can afford the buyout. I mean, that's clearly pretty big message. So ultimately, Paula, when you talk about the decision to hire these coaches at enormous salaries to fire these coaches and pay out those enormous salary still. Who makes those calls knowing that the implications are this absurd? Well, technically, the signatures that appear on these documents and the decision makers on paper are the athletic directors, the university presidents, a Chancellor is the boards of regents, and so forth. You know, realistically, I would have to say, in many cases, it's the boosters, you know, there's fan pressure. There's all the outside influences on these programs. And the other thing I would absolutely throw in here is the fact that these coaches have agents. And these agents are very powerful. Yes. And I think when you started seeing that, I think that's when you really started seeing these contracts and these buyout provisions balloon. So all of these agents that representatives, they get cuts of all of this at significant percentages. Everyone is incentivized to boost the payouts here. I mean, when you spoke to some of the power brokers involved here in this dynamic Paula. And you look beyond the numbers, you actually got to hear from them, what do they have to say about how this really works? So the two I focused on were Harvey Perlman who had been the Chancellor at Nebraska during a lot of these coaching changes. And Steve Lee, who had been the president auburn until recently. And Perlman, he really reflected on this saying, this is not something he ever he sees the ridiculousness of these numbers. And one of the things he said to me and he was kind of laughing when he said it, he said, we have a lot of football coaches on our salary. A lot of people about coaches on our channel. Yeah, I was horrible. I didn't like it. And of course, you get a lot of public platform, which I did. But as I say, it's part of the competitive context in which you're operating. And if you're not going to do it, then you're not going to get coaches. And that's similar to what leaf was saying. And he was talking about in negotiating with Jimmy Sexton who was Gus agent. Yeah, super agent very infamous and impressive in this world. Yeah, absolutely. And he was talking about the dynamic of having to deal with the agent versus dealing with his employee. And how he said it really changed the dynamic. He sort of speaks to that how that really puts a lot more pressure and doesn't allow at least in his opinion, the employer to really negotiate in good faith or in what's best for the university. He says, it changes the team spirit of working together for the common goal of advancing the program to much more of an unfund business negotiation. I mean, you know, I guess, I guess it depends on whose side you're on there. I mean, if you're on the coach's side, then that's great for you, but yeah. Paul, it occurs to me as you say this, right? Like, you know, a university professor typically doesn't have an agent. You know, you're working for a big state school teaching. I don't know. Biology, you're not getting a bidding war generated when your contract is up. I mean, this is, again, as much as there is an innocence that we should have all been sort of over in terms of its ruination by now, it's glaring to imagine how these public employees are building marketplaces that drain public institutions of their funds in ways that typically other public employees never even dream of doing. Right. I guess to be devil's advocate there. You could say, well, that biology professor that physics professor, no matter how good he or she is, is not bringing in millions of dollars to the university through ticket sales and TV contracts. And so forth. So that's the other side of it, right? So Paula we had just established, the ESPN daily college program power poll as dead money is concerned, but I want to get to a Hall of Fame for these individuals here. Who is in the dead money Hall of Fame among coaches, what names are we looking at? All right, so keep in mind this is within our cutoff time, but here we go. So at the very top, we have wheel at 19 $.2 million. That includes 12.9 million from South Carolina and 6.3 million from Florida. We have Charlie strong who the total is 11.8 million, 10.1 million is to exit Texas tacked on another 1.7 million after three years of South Florida. Just to clarify and to just give even more shine to will must champ, you're telling me that the South Carolina pay out a 12.9 million that much champ is getting, that's number one, even before you factor in what Florida's given them. Right, that's the exactly. He's sort of gets a little bonus there from Florida. Third on the list is Todd Graham at Arizona state with 11.1 million I guess you don't get three straight bowl Gibbs, a couple of ten with seasons, but man, tag ram with 11.1. All right, good on you or the opposite I suppose. And then you have Kevin someone with a total of 10.8 million, and that is a combined 7 million from Texas a and M and 3.8 million from Arizona. And that Paula is 10.8 million just to keep the math in order here. That's 10.8 million in the Kevin someone's getting without a winning record. At either school over those 7 years he coached it. Right. And we have the aforementioned guest melson with 10.7 million. And keep in mind that this is our cutoff. So he had a $49 million contract that he signed after the 2017 season and 75% of that was guaranteed. And it was kind of funny because in my conversation with Steve leith, the auburn president, he said, he's the credit for getting that down to 75%. So I guess there's a win there. I didn't know Aubrey graded on that generous of a curve at its institution, but.

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