TEXT OF INTERVIEW
SCOTT JAGOW: College basketball’s Sweet 16 gets narrowed down to eight today. We already know Kansas, Ohio State, UCLA and Memphis will be in the Elite Eight. The deeper these teams go in the tournament, the more money their coaches stand to make. And it’s a lotta money.Just five years ago, only two coaches made a million bucks a year. Now, at least a couple dozen do. Our business of sports commentator Diana Nyad is with us. Good morning, Diana.
DIANA NYAD: How are you doing?
JAGOW: I’m doing OK. I’m pulling for my Tar Heels tonight. Y’know what’s going on with these coaches’ salaries?
NYAD: Well you know you talk about your Tar Heels, OK those are the huge universities, Carolina, et cetera, but even what they call the mid-majors Wichita State, OK the coach comes out of there, he’s making $200,000 a year, which sounds like a pretty darn good salary. Last year he takes his team to the Sweet 16 and now the school’s on national television, he’s in the headlines, his salary gets bumped up to $750,000. he gets a private plane given to him for all his recruiting trips in the off-season, just by virtue of making the Sweet 16.
JAGOW: Wow, I mean certainly going to Carolina I know how important basketball is to the school, but doesn’t it send a message that the priorities are a little out of whack?
NYAD: Well you know I think it would, look at Marquette. The coach there, Tom Crean, two seasons ago he made $1.7 million OK? He was by far the highest-paid employee at the school. As a matter of fact the next highest salary was the dean of the business school, his salary: $262,000, compared to $1.7 million. But I guess that dean of business knows that the revenue coming into the school comes from basketball.
JAGOW: So do you think the schools are equating the amount of revenue that comes in from basketball with the coaches’ salaries and that’s why they’re getting paid that much?
NYAD: Sure, some of the schools it’s over 90 percent of the school revenue comes from football, basketball combined. All the departments of that school, including keeping up the grounds and improving the dormitories, it all spreads out along the school. You know, talk about your school, the president of University of North Carolina said recently, ‘hey look, you know we are a fine institution, we recruit great students from all over the world, but the truth is, when it comes time for me to raise money, it’s Carolina basketball, that’s what I’m selling.’
JAGOW: Who are you pulling for?
NYAD: You know, I wouldn’t mind if Ohio State went through this year.
JAGOW: Oh yeah? Thanks Diana.
NYAD: Thank you.
JAGOW: Our business of sports commentator Diana Nyad.
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