Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



Superstar College Coaches Have Their Own Rules 6

Posted on March 27, 2010 by Dean Hybl
Cornell v Kentucky

While John Calipari may be on the verge of his third Final Four, according to NCAA records, his teams have never been there.

As the amount of time superstar athletes spend in college has dwindled over the last couple decades, the NCAA and high profile member schools have recognized that it is coaches and not the players that will ensure long-term success and continued billion dollar television payouts.

What that has created is a culture where often the most powerful person on campus is not the President or even the Athletic Director, but instead the marquee football or basketball coach.

The salaries for top-level head coaches have grown to the point where many of them are paid more money than it takes to run some entire departments at the colleges they represent.

These mega-salaries have come with a price. The pressure on coaches to win now is so great that it appears the days of coaches staying 20 or 30 years at the same institution is going the way of the two-handed bounce pass.

While there still are a few coaches enjoying success that have been at the same school for more than two decades like  Joe Paterno and Frank Beamer in college football and Jim Boeheim and Mike Krzyzewski in basketball, they are becoming the exception, rather than the rule.

Instead, the hot coaches are those like Lane Kiffin, Nick Saban and John Calipari who are little more than mercenaries hopping from job to job and pillaging all the riches during their stop.

The tale of Calipari, who is poised to reach the final four with a young Kentucky team that features a number of freshmen seemingly destined to spend just one year in college basketball, is a perfect example of how while schools certainly want to run a clean program, the most important thing is winning on the court. Read the rest of this entry →

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