Originally Posted by DivineLegion
I had a great debate with a coworker once about the fact that football coaches usually make more than entire history departments, or social science departments. It's an interesting problem brought about by the modern university dynamic.
I don't think it's a problem at all. It's like when someone criticizes Jordan for making X million for putting a ball thru a hoop while a teacher makes 50k. Yes, looking at the inherent value of the activity is one way of measuring value but its hardly the only way. Another way, which is more in line with reality is looking at the actual economic value produced. Jordan was worth 30m a year because he brought to the Bulls and the league and the sponsors much more. If I'm making widgets, that's not necessarily inherently important but if the company sells my widgets and the income from my work regardless of how it's viewed is a ton, then I should be making a ton.
Yes history departments are important and so are educators and they should be paid more, but that doesn't mean Nick Saban at the same school should be paid less to compensate or really for any reason. He brings in tens and tens of millions. That's good enough reason to justify his salary regardless of what else is happening at the school.