Contract Structure Allows For Considerable Compensation Differences in College Sports

The following article was written by Spencer Wingate.

The New York Times recently ran an article providing specific figures and examples to demonstrate the dramatic salary differences found when comparing the compensation men’s and women’s coaches receive. The article focuses on the wide disparities in coaches’ compensation at some universities. The average salary for the coach of a men’s team is $267,007, while women’s pay lags far behind at $98,106. An interesting tidbit is that the structure of the coaches’ contract allows for the wide discrepancy in compensation. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 does not allow for an employer to discriminate based on gender. Therefore, base salary and even contract perks should be comparable. Third party money such as endorsement agreements and university booster clubs are not held to the same rules.  Universities additionally employ contract provisions for additional money and incentives to be inserted into male coaches’ contracts. A variety of mechanisms such as alumni appearances, summer camps, performance bonuses, and academic clauses provide the coaches of male teams with substantially greater pay.

Male teams generate more money, but it can be countered that the university does not provide equal support, resources, promotions, or staff to the female teams. The adoption of Title IX in 1972 has dramatically changed women’s college sports and allowed more athletes to participate. The number of teams has greatly increased; however coaches’ compensation is still far behind and the difference seems to only be increasing.

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