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Earn Some Extra Cash On New Year’s Day: Coach In The Rose Bowl

Earn Some Extra Cash On New Year’s Day: Coach In The Rose Bowl

OK. I’m all for people getting paid for the work they do. And one of the problems in this country right now is that too many jobs appear to pay too little. That’s not the case apparently at the University of Wisconsin, where current athletics director and former head football coach Barry Alvarez is set to pocket an extra $100K for taking to the sidelines and guiding the team at the Rose Bowl.

I’m sure faculty members at Wisconsin would get the same treatment, if asked to cover an extra class or two. I digress.

Anyway, here’s from USA Today:

Wisconsin athletics director Barry Alvarez will earn $118,500 for returning to the sideline to coach the Badgers in the Rose Bowl.

A win Jan. 1 against Stanford will mean a $50,000 bonus.

The executive committee of the university’s Board of Regents on Tuesday agreed to the terms after the surprise departure last week of coach Bret Bielema to take the same job at Arkansas.

Alvarez was Wisconsin’s coach from 1990 to 2005, a span during which he won the Rose Bowl three times. The money for the coaching job will come out of Bielema’s $1 million buyout to be paid by Arkansas. [Note: A $1 million buyout? Sweet.]

Alvarez will receive $195,000 in December, which is 90% of Bielema’s monthly coaching salary. He also will get $8,500, which is 10% of his athletics director salary. The total pay of $203,500 is a one-time $118,500 increase in his monthly salary.

“We weighed the factors involved, including the unique circumstances that developed less than a month before the game, the challenges of the job, the marketplace and his strength as a coach and concluded that this is a reasonable arrangement,” board President Brent Smith said.

Interim UW-Madison Chancellor David Ward said the pay package was fair and proportional.

“Coach Alvarez has a one-of-a-kind skill set that the university needs to be successful — both in the Rose Bowl and in attracting the best coaching candidates in the search for someone to lead the Badgers football program going forward,” Ward said. [Note: Same rationalization when overpaying a corporate CEO.]

I know you can’t just send any doofus out there with a set of headphones and expect to win a major bowl game. But unless all of the current staff have already followed Bielema to Arkansas, couldn’t somebody have made a game of it and saved the university some serious cash?

Guess not. And it provides another look at how major league college football and basketball programs have become dominant on university campuses.

For more on that, here’s an interesting NYT op-ed by Joe Nocera, “Show Me the Money.”


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