When political activist Ken Karayeske asked UConn's Jim Calhoun about his status as the state of Connecticut's top-paid employee during a $2 billion budget deficit Saturday, the Hall of Fame coach offered this advice to his questioner: "Shut up."
Growing more upset, Calhoun, who said he makes "a lot more" than the $1.6 million from the University, repeated three times, "Get some facts and come back and see me."
He also went on to say that the team generates more than $12 million for the state each year.
While Krayeske may soon come out with his own findings, The Boston Globe says, "In its latest filing with the federal government, UConn reported that its men's basketball team raised $7.3 million in revenues, the women's team $5.3 million."
Whether Calhoun was talking about a combined figure with the women's program is not clear, but what is known is the level of coaches' salaries compared to those of other university employees. The Chronicle for Higher Education released its own analysis of top salaries on campuses, and it shows that many coaches make more than their university's presidents and top faculty members. The numbers relate to private colleges as state institutions are not required to report the information to the IRS.
The Chronicle says that no employee at a private college in America earned more in the 2007 tax year than USC football coach Pete Carroll. According to the IRS filing, he made $4.4 million in total compensation from the school.
As the marketing arm of the university, many schools have translated athletics success into increased admissions, but do coaches deserve to be paid such high salaries? Should they agree to wage cuts in these hard times?
Coaches often top salary list [Boston Globe]
Jim Calhoun defends his salary [NYTimes.com]