Well, we’re No. 1 at something

Compared to other Division I schools, the University ranked first in costs per win.

What a disappointing season it was for the Gopher Nation football team and its fans. At least now that the season has ended, our attention can turn to the success of the men’s basketball team and Tubby Smith’s ability to bring in both fans and money.

But the football team and the University took another hit last week when USA Today released its comprehensive study of college football coaches’ pay.

The football team placed No. 1 at something, though it’s not a ranking to be proud of: cost per win.

Coach Tim Brewster made a total of $1 million this past season for his base pay, media work and pension. With one win last season over Miami of Ohio, simple math shows that one win cost $1 million.

Although the University ranks first in cost-per-win, it’s by no means shelling out the most for coaches’ pay. Alabama, which came in second for cost-per win paid coach Nick Saban $3.5 million in the 2007 season. His team, however, managed six wins, putting the team’s cost-per-win at less than $600,000.

In the Big Ten, Iowa’s coach raked in more than $3 million last season. The lowest paid of the Big Ten football coaches was Indiana’s Bill Lynch who made almost a paltry $300,000.

These numbers show how coaches’ pay at universities are deeply out of whack with the greater educational mission. Coaches essentially get paid six to seven figures to make teams win, promote the team and bring in money.

On the other hand, surgeons – the highest paid profession in the country – make a mean annual salary of $181,000. They treat diseases and injuries in order to save lives. Anesthesiologists, the second-highest paying job, make $175,000.

Coaches’ salaries are severely inflated, and colleges need to reassess the amount of money they shell out each year.