This multi-sport training montage reveals that the Paralympics aren’t just a wheelchair affair. As Public Enemy’s “Harder Than You Think” blares in the background, we see Great Britain’s best: the visually impaired soccer team practicing with blindfolds (a way to ensure that those who see more than others don’t gain an unfair advantage), the fierce-looking four-foot tall champion swimmer Ellie Simmonds, amputee runners, and, yes, the wheelchair basketball team.*
Halfway through the clip, there’s a jarring cut to a bomb exploding in a war zone. Then there’s a pregnant mother at the hospital, awaiting word of her unborn child’s condition. That’s followed by a road accident that sends a car flipping on the highway. A second later, we’re back in the gym, where a legless man is doing pull-ups. Then we see a man—presumably the victim of that horrific car wreck—next to his crumpled vehicle.
I bet you’re thinking this is a no-brainer and the coaches win by far. Not so fast, the medical departments at colleges rake in money for patient care and consulting.
Here is a breakdown for the UC system in California which includes Berkeley, UCLA, and San Francisco with a combined 100+ Nobel Laureates:
Coach – $2.4 million - Jeff Tedford (Berekeley)
Coach – $2.1 million - Ben Howland (UCLA)
Prof. – $2.0 million - Ronald Busuttil (UCLA)
Coach – $1.9 million - Mike Montgomery (Berkeley)
Prof. – $1.8 million - Khalil Tabsh (UCLA)
Prof. – $1.5 million - Anthony Azakie (UCSF)
Prof. – $1.5 million - Philip Leboit (UCSF)
Prof. – $1.5 million - Timothy McCalmont (UCSF)
Prof. – $1.4 million - Richard Shemin (UCLA)
Coach – $1.2 million - Rick Neuheisel (UCLA)
The coaches hold four of the ten spots. The disparity in pay between the two groups isn’t all that great either. Average of the top 10 has the professors earning $1.6 million and the coaches earning $1.9 million.
If you keep going, the next fifteen are all on the healthcare side with twelve professors and three health executives. Of the top 100 they take up 84 spots, with only fourteen non-healthcare salaries.
It’s also worth noting that the next coaches on the list are Norm Chow (UCLA) at #95, and Joanne Boyle (Berkeley) at #119.
I have to admit the numbers are pretty shocking. The common understanding is that professors make little money, while doctors make good money. Combine the two and it’s a gold mine.
One that doesn’t pull money from the schools themselves. Like the coaches they are largely paid with the money they pull in. In the world of college academics this is called an “auxiliary program” (thanks Norman), and the opposite is normally true. These programs (sports, healthcare) funnel money, prestige, and students to the schools.
A final note, these salaries are determined by combining each persons base pay with their incentives and bonuses. For the coaches this means winning, playoffs, and championships. For the health professors it means seeing patients and receiving awards for their research.
Take out this extra pay and not one in the top 10 earns above $317,000 in base pay. Many of those lower on the list have a set base pay of $500,000 and $800,000.
Interesting, to say the least, and I hope I informed your opinion of college salaries.