Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What “sells” indicates health of a culture

Urban Meyer, formerly the head football coach with the University of Florida, is undeniably one of America’s great coaches and a good model of a human being.

Meyer’s recent hiring by Ohio State for $4 million per year, plus bonuses, six-year contract got my attention.

I am no Occupy Wall Street punk who wants to deny anyone the ability to earn as much as he can.  I don’t deny the right of Meyer earning one of the top salaries in his field.  And I don’t deny the universities the right to establish sports programs as major “profit centers” to help fund their educational programs.

So what is my beef?  It is the value our culture places on various skills and fields.  Here, for example, is the value our culture places on college football coaches.

USA TODAY College Football Coach Salary Data


Head Coach

Total Pay

Max Bonus



Mack Brown




Nick Saban




Bob Stoops



Ohio State

Urban Meyer




Les Miles




Kirk Ferentz




Bobby Petrino




Gene Chizik




Brady Hoke




Will Muschamp




Mark Richt



Compare this with the value our culture places on teachers, doctors, nurses, pastors, police, and our military.  Not even the best and brightest in these fields come close to the earnings of the top salaried college football coaches.

Football attracts patrons and advertisers who pay the big bucks because there is a demand for the “product.”  Why isn’t there as great a demand for great school principles?  For great head doctors of hospitals?  For great military leaders?  For the great leaders of churches?

Yes, the salaries are based on the cultural reality of what sells.  My beef is “what sells.”  Don’t you agree that a culture is in trouble when entertainment and games sell for much higher prices than the core of what makes a great culture:  Education, health, religion, and defense?

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