Meyer deal proves recession hasn't hurt big-time college programs
Gentlemen, start your checkbooks. If you are a big-money booster for an SEC school, you'd better hope you didn't invest with
Florida football coach
The recession may have affected college sports, but it clearly hasn't made a dent at the top end. For now, the only coaches who will make more than Meyer are USC's
In May, Florida president
Meyer is the CEO of a program that, according to documents filed with the U.S. Department of Education, brought in $66.1 million in revenue in the 2007-08 school year. But the news of his new salary is a double-edged sword for Florida, just as the news of Saban's next contract will be for Alabama and the news of Stoops' next contract will be for Oklahoma. On one hand, school officials have sent a message to recruits saying they believe Meyer is worth more than his peers. "I believe that Urban Meyer is the best at what he does," Machen said in a statement. Also, the length of the deal should quiet all those silly Meyer-to-Notre Dame rumors that pop up every few months. On the other hand, those same officials seem almost apologetic when they reveal all those zeros to the world.
It's understandable. When you have to slice millions from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences' budget, it seems insane to keep bidding up the price on the guy who draws up the best Jet Sweep. But when boosters are willing to keep paying, and you need that guy to stay competitive, athletic departments have little choice.