OSU football: Can Cowboys afford to pay Gundy a top-10 salary
Here’s the most relevant question concerning the Mike Gundy/OSU contract contention. How much can the Cowboys afford to pay? Forget for a moment how much OSU wants to pay. Or how much Gundy wants. Think in terms of how much OSU can pay.
I wrote about the negotiations in the Thursday Oklahoman. You can read it here:
OSU has offered something a little above $3 million. Gundy apparently wants significantly more than that. That’s all we really know. Some just look at the list of the guys making north of $3.5 million a year and try to gauge where Gundy belongs. But you’ve got to look at context. Can OSU’s budget handle that kind of payout?
Boone Pickens Stadium seats 60,218. That means OSU’s football revenues can generate a certain amount, but not like a stadium that sells out 80,000 seats, or 100,000 seats.
Here are the nation’s 20 highest-paid coaches, according to Business Insider in November. Along with that, I’ve listed the stadium capacity of the schools involved.
1. Mack Brown, Texas, $5.193M: 100,119
2. Nick Saban, Alabama, $4.833M; 101,821
3. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma, $4.075M; 82,112
4. Urban Meyer, Ohio State, $4M; 102,329
5. Les Miles, LSU, $3.856M; 92,542
6. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa, $3.785M; 70,585
7. Bobby Petrino, Arkansas, $3.638M; 72,000
8. Gene Chizik, Auburn, $3.5M; 87,451
9. Brady Hoke, Michigan, $3.254M; 109,901
10. Will Muschamp, Florida, $3.221M; 88,548
11. Mark Richt, Georgia, $2.939M; 92,746
12. Steve Spurrier, South Carolina, $2.828M; 80,250
13. Chip Kelly, Oregon, $2.8M; 54,000
14. Bo Pelini, Nebraska, $$2.775M; 81,067
15. Houston Nutt, Ole Miss, $2.771M; 60,850
16. Jimbo Fisher, Florida State, $2.75M; 84,300
17. Gary Pinkel, Missouri, $2.7M; 71,004
18. Bret Bielema, Wisconsin, $2.598M; 80,321
19. Dan Mullen, Mississippi State, $2.5M; 55,082
20. Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech, $2.369M; 55,000.
The correlation is clear. The really big money goes to coaches who are very successful and coaching places with really big budgets, made possible by really big stadiums that are full.
On this list, the stadiums closest in size to Boone Pickens Stadium are Oregon’s Autzen Stadium, Ole Miss’ Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Mississippi State’s Scott Field and Georgia Tech’s Bobby Dodd Stadium. None of those coaches are making $3 million a year. Oregon and OSU actually are the closest schools in similarity. Both have great facilities, made possible by a single benefactor. The prime difference in the two is that Oregon has been winning big longer than has OSU, but Gundy has been more instrumental in the long-term success of the Cowboys than Kelly has with the Ducks (he’s been on the job three years, after two seasons as offensive coordinator).
Of the 12 coaches making m0re than Kelly’s $2.8 million, only two have a stadium less than 80,000 in size. Arkansas’ Bobby Petrino ($3.638 million, 72,000 capacity) and Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz ($3.785 million, 70,585). Petrino and Ferentz generally top any list of the nation’s most over-paid coaches. Iowa and Arkansas have been successful, at times very successful under their coaches, but to be paid in the neighborhood of Les Miles and Gene Chizik seems fiscally irresponsible. And both Iowa’s Kinnick Stadium and Arkansas’ Razorback Stadium have more than 10,000 seats more than does Stillwater’s Boone Pickens Stadium.
So this is a budgetary matter. It’s quite possible that OSU simply does not have the money to pay Gundy what he wants. It’s quite possible that, for instance, $3.1 million a year is the high side of what the Cowboys can afford. That would be a $1 million a year raise for Gundy, and would pay him more than coaches like Richt, Spurrier, Kelly, Bielema and Johnson, whose accomplishments equal or surpass what Gundy has done.
This is not meant to bash Gundy. He’s done a wonderful job at OSU. He’s turned into a big-time coach. But OSU seems to be willing to pay him in a big-time way. Just not a fiscally irresponsible way.
Some have said, just let Boone Pickens pay Gundy. Two things. One, Boone’s not going to be around forever. You can’t go counting on Pickens’ money always, especially when you’re talking about a potential 10-year contract. And two, maybe Pickens doesn’t want to pay Gundy. Maybe Boone figures he’s done enough. He’s given OSU $500 million, and the results are obvious. Boone has done his share.
Message Sent Successfully
Be Sure to Check Out Our Top Headlines
- 13758Oklahoma tornadoes: The 'Big Dog,' the little boy and the hug that triumphs over tragedy
- 9630Finding Addyson – One family's struggle in the Moore tornado
- 9095Oklahoma tornadoes: Cost, custom keep basements scarce
- 8238Oklahoma tornadoes: Plaza Towers Elementary School teacher shoved students into bathroom as wall collapsed
- 6533Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, Vince Gill to join Blake Shelton at "Healing in the Heartland" Oklahoma tornado benefit
- 6005Oklahoma tornadoes: Woman meets the military officer who shared the clothes off his back
- 5369Story behind the photo: Family members describe desperate search for one another after EF5 twister
- 4740Oklahoma tornadoes: Sooners bring back some smiles to Sydney Angle's teammates
- 4592Oklahoma tornadoes: Thunder reverses the role, takes a turn at cheering on the community
- 4132Oklahoma tornadoes: 27 remain hospitalized from tornadoes
Back to share with a friend form.
Add More Recipients