Texas Tech Freezes Faculty Salaries While Giving Its Football Coach a $500,000 Year Pay Increase

Texas Tech University seems to be sending a rather curious message about its priorities. Faculty members are objecting after the administration froze faculty salaries for the entire university but then gave Texas Tech football coach Tommy Tuberville a $500,000 a year raise.

Texas Tech wiped out $3 million in faculty raises for 2011 and then turned around and approved an obscene five-year, $11 million contract for Tuberville. That is an increase from $1.5 million to $2 million a year.

The University has bragged that this year “According to [U.S. News and World Report], Texas Tech sits at 159 out of the top 191 schools ranked in the National University category. Texas Tech also is listed in the A+ Schools for B Students category, which is alphabetical and not by rank.” The Texas Tech president clearly believes that the key to moving the school up in academic ranking is to improve its football program rather than its academic program. This “let them eat football” approach to learning is truly distressing but it is not unique. Presidents love the revenue and alumni support that is generated by football. However, it turns an educational institution into little more than a sport franchise.

Source: NBC

Jonathan Turley

35 thoughts on “Texas Tech Freezes Faculty Salaries While Giving Its Football Coach a $500,000 Year Pay Increase”

  1. The Texas Tech football team generated over $40,000,000 in revenue in 2007-2008. How much did Texas Tech expend for the football program during that school year? For scholarships, coaches, trainers, upkeep of the stadium, scouts, transportation, lodging for away games, etc.?

  2. Here’s some information:
    http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=5490686

    Here is an older, but still relevant discussion with many interesting comments:
    http://www.themonkeycage.org/2008/05/the_dismal_economics_of_bigtim.html

    It’s true that some football programs make money, but the overall athletic department ends up costing money in all but a handful of cases. Furthermore, many football programs do not even make a profit.

    As to the contention that increased student enrollment might generate more revenue, this again is only the case of the top performing football programs which, with some variation, tend to be the same schools year after year. Publicity follows the same pattern as student enrollment.

    Donations are generally counted as revenue in these studies. That is, they are already accounted for. Programs would lose even more money without them.

  3. The demand for the University of Texas is so high that they can keep their high ranking in USNWR and the excellent athletic programs. They admit pretty much only straight A students from the top 5% of the class. Tech has always been the school that accepted the the students that could not be admitted to UT or A&M.

  4. “$2.5 million of the Tech athletic budget comes from academics.”

    In 2008 the texas tech football team generated 42 million in revenue. Much of that money goes back into the athletic program to help fund other sports that do not make any money. That 2.5 million of the athletic budget that comes from academics isn’t to subsidize the football program.

    Many sports in college do not generate revenue, like womens volleyball, but it still cost money to fly the athletes all over the country. Not to mention paying their coaches, and paying for the scholarships of those athletes.

  5. Due largely big time football, in 2007-08 Texas Tech generated $42,844,855 in revenues from its athletic programs according to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education. That placed them no higher than 58th among the usual football factories like Ohio State and Florida. The University of Texas led all schools with revenues just over $120,000,000 that same year. The figures for Texas Tech have surely grown under new FB Coach Tuberville.

    In Texas and elsewhere, money talks and education walks when there is any hint of challenge to D1 football funding. After all don’t 6’6″, 305 lb left tackles with 4.7 forty times cure cancer?

  6. “If you’re at a time of cutting academic programs or freezing or cutting salaries for faculty and other employees, and you have a raise for the football coach — even if the money is there — it sends a completely wrong signal about where the priorities of the university are,”

    Actually, I think it sends an entirely accurate signal about what the priorities of the university are. They just aren’t very pretty to look at.

  7. So whats the problem….. Football is the new cotton…. you have a problem with that…ain’t much else to raise out on west Texas….

  8. Are you sick of highly paid teachers?

    Teachers’ hefty salaries are driving up taxes, and they only work 9 or10 months a year! It’s time we put things in perspective and pay them for what they do – babysit!

    We can get that for less than minimum wage.

    That’s right. Let’s give them $3.00 an hour and only the hours they worked; not any of that silly planning time, or any time they spend before or after school. That would be $19.50 a day (7:45 to 3:00 PM with 45 min. off for lunch and plan– that equals 6 1/2 hours).

    Each parent should pay $19.50 a day for these teachers to baby-sit their children. Now how many students do they teach in a day…maybe 30? So that’s $19.50 x 30 = $585.00 a day.

    However, remember they only work 180 days a year!!! I am not going to pay them for any vacations.

    LET’S SEE….

    That’s $585 X 180= $105,300

    per year. (Hold on! My calculator needs new batteries).

    What about those special

    education teachers and the ones with Master’s degrees? Well, we could pay them minimum wage ($7.75), and just to be fair, round it off to $8.00 an

    hour. That would be $8 X 6 1/2 hours X 30 children X 180 days = $280,800 per year.

    Wait a minute — there’s

    something wrong here! There sure is!

    The average teacher’s salary

    (nation wide) is $50,000. $50,000/180 days

    = $277.77/per day/30

    students=$9.25/6.5 hours = $1.42 per hour per student–a very inexpensive baby-sitter and they even EDUCATE your kids!) WHAT A DEAL!!!!

  9. Even in the rare cases where the football team isn’t self-sufficient it does bring in money in non-direct ways. The team will bring in donations, students to enroll, publicity, and more.

  10. while Texas is freezing salaries, I am freezing my arse off and NOAA is admitting record high snow falls not man made. Which should have been had the claims of the AGW crowd been correct. Namely additional moisture in the atmosphere.

    So take heart, throw another log on the fire, turn the thermostat up, throw away the bike, sell the Hybrid to some left leaning tree hugger and buy a Suburban or Excursion. Oh and don’t worry about turning out the lights (unless you don’t like to pay the electric company extra).

    Geof, better call your office. Your wind turbines might be in jeopardy. See what you get for being in bed with government. Silly little fascist/socialist its not nice to manipulate markets through government force.

  11. Jeff, several studies show that college football is a large money loser at almost every school. The revenue it generates does not pay back the entire amount of subsidy provided to run the program. The trope that ‘football pays for all the other sports’ is pure PR.

    But we do have to realize what is truly important to us as a society. We can always get engineers and scientists from the places on earth that raise smaller people but the entire sports entertainment industry would collapse without the infusion of fresh, large, bodies found in few places other then the good ‘ol USofA. The NFL chews ’em up so that an average career is 3.3 seasons, the NBA just short of 5. Those simply must be replaced and if we have to sacrifice higher education for the betterment of those leagues its really a small price to pay . . . isn’t it?

  12. Actually Jeff, while that may be true at a few schools, at many universities the athletic department is subsidized by the academic arm. As the linked article notes “$2.5 million of the Tech athletic budget comes from academics.”

    Panem et circenses.

  13. jeff,

    It may be true that the football team generates “huge amounts of cash.” I’d guess the school also spends “huge amounts” of money for the football program.

  14. Comparing salaries of football coaches with faculty members salaries is silly.

    The football coach make make $500k, $1M or more but that is because the football team generates huge amounts of cash.

  15. If the NFL wants a farm team system, they should be paying for it, not students.

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