AP --At Texas A&M, the football coach made close to $4.5 million in 2015, nearly four times what the second highest-earning public university president in the country made. At Penn State, where the president is the highest paid among all public universities, the school's football coach made $500,000 more.
In 40 of the 50 U.S. states, the highest paid public official is currently the head coach of a state university's football team. College presidents lag far behind.
Why the disparity? The U.S. is an entertainment culture where almost everything is a branch of entertainment, including politics, government, and even higher education where athletics reign supreme.
But football, in most colleges and universities is not the money making proposition it is at schools where there are fabled football programs such as Alabama and Notre Dame.
To explain, the six elite leagues in Division I are those that participate in the Bowl Championship Series: the Atlantic Coast, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pacific-10, and Southeastern conferences. Even with football bowl-game revenues and television contracts, schools in those conferences had to subsidize football, often in huge amounts from general funds needed for educational purposes.
In order to please student and alumni fans to sustain football, some colleges and universities have cut out other programs such as volleyball, tennis, swimming and water polo.
Now 172 college presidents are fed up with their parasitic football programs and the outrageous salaries paid to football coaches. As one said, "It shows that our institutions are a fraud as they elevate sports above academics." The presidents have banned together to form a group simply called, "Et Interficiam De Feces," which is roughly translated, "Cut Out The Crap.
The mission statement of the group includes, "Football has no place in institutions of higher learning, where it essentially functions as a minor league farm team for the professional National Football League. Growing evidence for brain injury and elevated dementia rates for football players-violence and suffering for the entertainment of others-means that it is comparable to dog fighting."
It continues, "For those educational institutions of higher learning that want to have football programs let them cooperate with the NFL and establish semi-pro teams which would be licensed affiliates. The NFL should be responsible for paying for the programs, including the salaries of both coaches and players. Particularly the NFL should pay for deaths, injuries, and permanent brain damage and other disabilities sustained by the players."
The statement goes on to explain that the teams could still represent universities in games and wear the school colors because "We know that arrested development, adolescent brained Alums won't contribute money to their universities without turning themselves into a mob in the stands as they watch these sublimated war feuds."
Finally, the mission statement states, "Most football programs require their players to spend forty-one hours a week preparing for games. That's more than the average American works. Such a statistic contradicts the notion of the "student athlete." Many are too exhausted to study, even if they want academics to be a high priority. While we reject the notion of the athlete as the "dumb jock," we also note that when TV or the press interviews many players, they speak sub-standard English on a par with 6th graders and are an embarrassment to universities."
"We don't need people in severe need of remediation cluttering up our classrooms, nor do we need 360-pound no-neck behemoths wandering about campus without books in their backbacks. Players mostly play at the college level to go to the NFL. That is why the graduate rate, at football schools like USC is only 43%."
But Coach Nick Saber of Crimson Tide University disagrees: "Football is hard. It's tough. It demands discipline. It builds character. It teaches team spirit and unquestioning obedience to authority, qualities needed for men in the military going to defend American freedom and capitalism abroad in U.S. wars of intervention. Being against football, demeaning it from separating it from our universities. it is being against America, it's unpatriotic."