Yes, Mack is worth the cha-ching

December, 15, 2009
12/15/09
5:27
PM CT
An Associated Press story reports that some Texas faculty question whether football coach Mack Brown is worth the $5 million the board of regents recently passed. Brown earns $3 million this season, plus a $2 million bonus.

The bonus was made permament for the remaining years on Brown's contract after No. 2 Texas beat Nebraska in the Big 12 title game to earn its second appearance in the BCS national title game Jan. 7 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. Texas takes on No. 1 Alabama.

It makes Brown college football's lone $5 million man. For now.

When salaries for college football coaches started to spiral, reaching $2 million, then $3 million, then $4 million, it seemed outrageous. But, consider that Brown's success has allowed Texas to raise huge sums of money, expand Memorial Stadium's capacity to more than 100,000, which is filled to the brim for every home game, enhance facilities, enhance its national image and funnel funds into the academic side and Brown's fortune really amounts to a drop in the bucket.

And check out any sporting goods store and the quantity of Texas T-shirts and ball caps flying out the door.

Some people might not like it, but this is a case of culture and market forces. We love our sports and the market dictates salaries. It's expensive to run a top-flight athletic department these days and the bottom line is the football program is the financial engine. Texas' engine is pumping on all cylinders and Mack Brown, to a large degree, deserves the credit, and the paycheck that goes with it.

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