TV revenue in major college athletics has skyrocketed. Athletic departments, not paying the labor force, must find a way to spend that money. Much of it, not surprisingly, is going to athletic department salaries.
The Washington Post published a report about how the money generated from college football and basketball was trickling down to non-revenue sports. Even factoring in inflation, some athletic department salaries have doubled or tripled since 2006.
Kentucky’s former baseball coach Gary Henderson made $577,000 in 2016, $150,000 more than the revenue earned from baseball during that season. The Wildcats’ track and field coach made $429,000, up from $108,000 in 2006. Did you know Kentucky had a rifle team? Coaching that is a $133,000 per year gig for Harry Mullins.
Colleges will claim they can’t afford a restructuring of the amateurism model. They are spending considerable sums on salaries and facilities to make it look as though that’s the case.