Sound Off: Should Public College Sports Coaches Face Reductions When State’s In Deficit?

University of Connecticut Men’s Basketball coach Jim Calhoun is under fire for this exachange with a reporter over his salary. Calhoun is the highest paid state employee in the state of Connecticut, which is facing a multi-billion dollar budget shortfall. Public university coaches are technically state employees, but their programs often bring in more cash than they are paid. What do you think? Should college sports coaches face salary reductions when their states are facing budget shortfalls? Do they make too much money to begin with? Email

Maybe we should just ask our public officials to cut their salaries in half. Then President Obama would be able to balance the budget sooner. -Shannon

No Coach needs to be payed that much, an they sure as hell do not need to be a jerk when answering a Q to a reporter. -Byron

Yes, Absolutely. Why should anyone associated with the School’s wages be any different than anyone else? If the School’s Professors are forced to take a pay-cut, then why shouldn’t the coaches? This is just another example of greed. I can’t see any other excuse for it, especially when the school has to absorb the state of the economy, as does everyone else. When the School is doing well, then pay the coaches what the school feels they are worth. NOT What the coach feels He is worth. Either way, Coach, GET OVER IT, what message are You sending by being greedy? –Bob

I don’t think taxpayers should be paying people to play games at all. –Clayton

Since some athletic programs bring in more money than any other activity of most NCAA universities it would seem inappropriate to reduce the salary of coaches who produce revenue.  It might be good business to take a hard look at programs that fail to produce revenue and with it the salaries of those coaches.  -Gary(Spokane)

What I don’t like is the arrogance of this guy. These types of people act like the world would quit turning without them. UCONN would survive without him or his basketball team, and probably thrive with the money they could use for something worthwhile, like education! -Matt

All college coaches should be led by the example of Joe Paterno, the football coach at Penn State, who for years has donated his entire salary to the school specifically for support of the school’s library.  No one, including professional sports athletes, their coaches or, especially those in universities, is worth millions of dollars a year when normal people struggle to put their children through those schools. -Chris(Sandpoint)

A contract is a contract! -John

$12 million minus $1.6 million equals $10.4 million Jim Calhoun brings in to UConn each year.  I think he is generating a good return on the states investment.  -David(Cheney)

Of course their salaries should be cut ……. cut way down.   Sports are only “extras,” and not essential for equipping students with all they need to make it through the rest of their lives.   Sports should be the first to go across the board ……. high schools and colleges.   -Molly(Hayden)

I thought they, the coaches, did coach FOR the love of the game!! The same with the players! They DID go to college for an education, didn’t they?!?  Yes, they do get paid TOO much! When the contract is up, the amount should go down or they can leave and wonder who will pay them more!!  -Bernice(Spokane)

Last I knew, the state of Idaho was a “right to work” state…like it or not.  For most employees, including state employees, this means that no reason for termination has to be given.  Has anyone in Idaho   looked to see where our coaches rank?  The top five spots are for coaches! –Cindi(Lewiston)

First of all the coaches should not be paid that much. Math Teachers get paid an average of 60,000. Why is it that we put more money into sports than academics? What will help you more in the future? To me the answer is clear however, to others it isn’t. I say that we take some of that money and put it towards teachers’ salaries. They make the real differences. -Sarah(Spokane)

From all reports, the salaries of not only college sports staff but many University executives are outrageous.  They should all be cut. -Gaby

Like professional athletes, coaches are over-paid.  In professional sports, the fans pay for it, and in college sports, the expense falls on the taxpayers and students.  However, if a college president/board is dumb enough to give a coach such a contract, it should be paid.  The problem needs to be addressed before these contracts are offered and signed. -Joe(Spokane Valley)

I think the UConn coach should be forced to work for min. wage. Maybe that would teach him the value of the buck. As far as other coaches and other schools, one word: OUTRAGEOUS! –Adam(Spokane)

Of course college coaches, like every other state employee, should carry part of the burden and have their salaries cut. Since college sports programs function to a large degree as farm teams for the pros,   how about if the NFL and the NBA pay a large part of the college coaches salaries instead of it all coming from the state? -Steve(Spokane Valley)

They DO NOT NEED THAT MUCH MONEY! Sports are the last resort, education is more important. I am a college student, taking out loans to go to North Idaho College, yes NIC. I still have not got my loans and I am using CREDIT so I can continue to go to my school. Can’t they give up some money so people with NONE can go to school or even LIVE????!?! -Desiree(Sagle)

Yes they should face a salary reduction when the state is facing a budget shortfall. Anything other than taking a cut in their salaries is just greed in an economic crisis such as the one we are now in. Raising tuition by colleges and universities just to keep their greedy salaries higher than anyone in their state or the country is outrageous. -Steve

Really, I think sports receive far too much attention by media, especially local media. One would be led to believe that if the local team fails to win, the earth will be destroyed by an asteroid. Give it a rest. -Mike(Spokane)

Someone is going to be the highest paid no matter where you are.  If the coaches have done nothing wrong, e.g. have a losing season or violations of the league rules, and then leave them alone.  Jim Calhoun has done a lot for his university and his team has done well.  As far as I know he has not violated any league rules either.  One million dollars for a coach is not out of sync with others in his profession so leave it alone.   Besides, think about all the taxes he must have to pay. -Roxanne

They don’t like increased taxes any more than anyone else so why should they expect to be paid king’s salaries? Is their job hazardous enough to merit their oversized pay? Pay shouldn’t be based on ego……… –MJ

What an arrogant idiot! I doubt that all the money the basketball program brings in would disappear if he wasn’t the coach. He is a disgrace to the members of the team, the student body, the alumni, and the other coaches. He should be fired! -Dave(Spokane Valley)

There is something fundamentally wrong and sick about college coaches’ salaries being the highest salary in a State, even in good economic times!  Yes!  Coaches’ salaries should be reduced when States face severe budget shortfalls, as is the case here in America today! –Harold(Pullman)

Yes!! Right after the illegals are sent home, the folks on public assistance have their doles cut and everyone else in government have their salaries cut. -John

Don’t reduce their pay—–“Lay them off” without pay. -Dave

Of course they should!!!  If a state is having budget issues, I think the sports should be the first to get cut, or wages decreased!!  It seems that in all actuality, academics is the first to get the hatchet; and that is just wrong in my book….  Sports is supposed to be an “after school” thing, and when there are money problems, then that should be the first to go!!!  Some of these coaches are paid way too much money for what they do… –David(Coeur d’Alene)