If you are a young person facing a career choice in the near future, you could become a college professor, where - according to CNN Money - 25 percent of those in the profession make over $105,000 per year. The average pay is $81,000 per year.
Or, you could become the football coach at the same university where the top profs are making a hundred grand and knock back at least three-and-a-half times that sum.
A quick glance at USA Today's college football coach salary database is mind-boggling. Nick Saban of Alabama - whose team will play Notre Dame for the national championship - will have total pay of $5,476,000 this year. He is also eligible for another $700,000 in bonuses.
On the other side of the ball, Notre Dame's Brian Kelly will have to make do with a paltry $2,424,000 this year. Poor Brian. At least Notre Dame is a private institution.
What is unsettling to us is what state schools - public institutions - are paying head football coaches. The University of Texas will shell out $5.35 million for Mack Brown's services this year.
There are a couple of states shelling out over $4 million (Oklahoma and Ohio), seven more paying over $3 million and at least a dozen over $2 million.
The lowest we saw in the database was $350,000. Norm Chow of Hawaii makes $550,000.
What message is it sending when a state school will give a coach 4 million or 5 million bucks, then turn around and give a veteran professor $100,000? Where Nick Saban reigns at the University of Alabama, the average professor makes $80,200 according to the Tuscaloosa News. Saban makes 67 times more money.
Furthermore, if state schools in the database capped coaches' salaries at, say, $1 million, it would free up enough money for thousands of full-ride scholarships for students.
We don't mind coaches being millionaires, but multimillionaires?
It just seems that this nice chunk of the public's education dollar could be divided a little better . . . and the coaches would still be rich.
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.