Jim Harbaugh’s fat salary package triggers debate

Jim Harbaugh’s fat salary package triggers debate

The fat salary package for the Michigan Wolverines' new football coach Jim Harbaugh has triggered debate over universities' soaring spending on sports programs.

Mr. Harbaugh, former San Francisco 49ers coach, has signed a seven-year service agreement with Michigan. While full details of the coach's agreement aren't available, terms disclosed during his introductory news conference showed that he will get a base salary of $5 million, along with various incentives.

Experts and observers say the huge salary package for Harbaugh would only prompt other universities to spend more on their football programs. It would weigh down students because universities and schools depend on student fees for a portion of their athletics budget.

Amy Perko, the executive director of the Knight Commission. "Schools at the lower tier of spending, those programs rely on student fees for a significant portion of their athletics budget. They are facing decision day fairly soon on how much they can increase student fees."

Agent Neil Cornrich, who represents the likes of Bob Stoops and Kirk Ferentz, said coach salaries would continue to grow as long as college football continues to generate huge revenues.

Michigan University claims that the total of deposed Michigan coach Brady Hoke's salary of $14.4 million over his four-year tenure was paid from the university's athletic department coffers and not students fees. The public university also claims that the new coach will also be paid through revenue and donations that the athletic department will generate.

While the University of Michigan can afford to huge pay package to its sports coaches and players on its own, many other universities are simply not capable of that.

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