A man wins five championships. Some other dude: zero.
The man coaches for over four decades. The other dude: less than three.
The man draws top recruits from across the country. The other dude: scraps from the backyard.
Who makes more, the man or the dude? At Boston College, the dude. How much more? Way more than expected.
According to the Boston College’s 2014 Tax Return, the university paid men’s hockey coach Jerry York $576,743 over the course of 2014. In that time span football coach Steve Addazio earned close to five times York’s salary. Boston College paid Addazio $2,560,847. View it from a different angle: Boston College paid its former basketball coach Al Skinner $585,069. Skinner last coached Boston College in 2010—five years ago.
Few people talk about Addazio’s salary. Why? The football team wins and Addazio’s record at BC stands over .500. In the world of college football, the annual salaries of Alabama’s Nick Saban and Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio, at $6.95 million and $5.61 million, respectively, dwarf any number Addazio earns. Fair enough. Saban won three national championships and Dantonio regularly competes for a BIG 10 title.
So Addazio deserves the money he earns relative to Saban and Dantonio? Not quite. Examine the average annual salary of FBS college football coaches first before answering that question. In 2012, USA Today reported that the average salary of such coaches sits at $1.64 million. Addazio makes a million dollars more than what the average joe earns. Based on the coach’s 7-6 finishes in each of his first two seasons, Addazio’s record fails to justify the price tag.
Meanwhile, poor ole Jerry York makes a lowly $500k. Lowly? Well it's all relative. In 2014, Mount St. Cloud hockey coach Bob Motzko earned a base salary of $225,000. Considering York and Motzko competed at the same Division One standard, York earned twice as much as Motzko. That makes sense considering Motzko has a single Frozen Four appearance while York has too many to count.
All things aside, if York brought far more prestige to Boston College, why pay Addazio more?
Before grabbing pitchforks and torches while running to Conte, take a moment to sit and think. Why pay a legendary coach less money than an unproven commodity? Who is to blame for such an atrocity?
Look in the mirror.
Higher viewership exists for college football than college hockey. The ACC, Boston College’s football conference, distributed $291.7 million in total revenue over the 2013-2014 fiscal year. As a result of expanding to 14 football teams from 12, the ACC renegotiated its television deal to accommodate higher viewership. Every team within the conference, regardless of its win-loss total, earned an average of $20.8 million. That means Boston College earned the same amount as Florida State and Clemson.
The Hockey East draws less viewership and demand on television. While college football’s television deal expands nationally, Hockey East’s contract limits itself to NBC Sports and New England Sports Network (NESN). This results in dramatically smaller shares of television revenue for programs to spend on hockey coaches.
At the end of the day Boston College pays for future dollars, not past. When investing in coaches, Fr. Leahy and Brad Bates care about investing the right amount in the right sport capable of yielding the greatest amount of profit for the university. Simple economics.
Mark Twain once said three types of lies exist: lies, damned lies and statistics. While Addazio’s base salary implies higher prestige than a hall of fame hockey coach, it suggests the opposite when comparing the numbers to fellow coaches in Addazio and York’s respective sports. Peel back the onion before passing judgment.
We have the power to change those statistics. Just grab your remote and think of Coach York before binge-watching college football.
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