In most offices, poor performing workers could find that raise or bonus they were seeking is suddenly off the table -- or they may be suddenly sent packing. In the world of sports -- especially college sports, however, a big financial reward of hundreds of thousands of dollars could be coming.
Take the case of Dana Holgorsen (pictured above), head coach of the West Virginia University football team, the Mountaineers, who can expect to earn $2 million-plus this year despite finishing the season with a less-than-stellar 7-6 record.
Despite the team's mediocre record, the college plans to boost the salaries of its coaching staff by $475,000 this year, compared to 2012. As The Charleston Gazette reports, $225,000 of the total amount includes raises given to two current assistants and three new assistant coaches, who are being paid more than their predecessors.
But the bulk of the increase -- $250,000 -- stems from automatic raises built into Holgorsen's contract, signed in August. The quarter-million-dollar raise combined with a $75,000 retention bonus that Holgorsen earned just for working through Dec. 8, 2012, along with base pay and supplemental income of $2.3 million, will likely net him $2.625 million this year -- before any additional incentives.
Holgorsen is hardly alone. Driving the astronomical increases is the very nature of college football, a multimillion-dollar business that is driven by contracts and revenues from bowl games. It's a business model that has made being a college football coach a very lucrative career.
But that doesn't mean everyone of them lives up to expectations. BleacherReport.com recently published its list of the "10 most overpaid" college football coaches. (Holgorsen wasn't among them.)
Topping the site's list was Mack Brown, head coach of the Texas Longhorns, who earned $5.3 million last year. Despite winning two titles within the Big 12 (a conference that includes the Mountaineers) and a national title, BleacherReport columnist Ian Berg says Brown has underachieved during his 14 years leading the team, despite a bottomless budget and an endless pool of talent.
Berg offers similar criticisms of the others that made the list. Overpaying coaches who produce mediocre results, he says, "is a widespread epidemic across the game where teams are under the assumption that they must pay top dollar for unproven coaching talent."
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