Barry Alvarez, who already makes $1 million a year as Wisconsin’s athletic director, will earn an additional $118,500 to coach the Rose Bowl.
Which – in the screwy world of college athletics – makes perfect sense. In virtually any other field, it is asinine.
Consider: Who would pick up the slack if one of your employees left today and your company couldn’t fill the job until after the first of the year?
You would, of course. For free. You would be expected to pitch in for the good of the organization. If you went to the boss and said, “I deserve another 20 percent because I’m doing different work,” you would be laughed at and sent on your way to do your part. For the most part, it simply doesn’t work like that.
It is, after all, just three more weeks – and in this case would include a lovely business trip (for you and your family) to Southern California for the holidays. Nice.
Not in big time college football, where the labor is free and the universities rake in millions of dollars in TV, licensing and ticket sales.
It will be a lucrative month for Alvarez, who will continue to earn a portion of his regular salary (being the boss of Bo Ryan and dealing with the women’s hockey team and all), in addition to a chunk of the football salary.
How lucrative? Alvarez gets an additional $118,500 for December alone – more than double the median household income in Wisconsin for an entire year. If the Badgers win, Alvarez gets another $50,000, which would triple Wisconsin’s median household income for the year. All told, he will make $195,000 in December.
We at the Daily Big Ten are traditionally and officially a “get what you can get” organization. We don’t begrudge people making money.
But Alvarez asking for – and receiving – more money to coach the Rose Bowl? It just rubbed us the wrong way, especially since Montee Ball and Co. are just getting a watch, a backpack and hat out of the deal.