In his book, BAD, or the Dumbing of America, Paul Fussell suggested that one of the best ways to make America a less dumb place would be to eliminate athletic scholarships entirely.
I agree — I think that the term “athletic scholarship” is an oxymoron. They’re also almost completely non-existent in Canada; the rules forbid entrance scholarships based on sports ability. As far as I recall, the only Canadian university to attempt (and fail) to join the NCAA was Simon Fraser University (presumably in an attempt to undo their rep as “The Marxists on the hill”).
Alas, the market does not agree with me and Paul Fussell. Take a look at this graph from the blog Carpe Diem, “Mark J. Perry’s Blog for Economics and Finance”, which compares college professors’ and college football coaches’ average salaries for 2007:
Here an excerpt from an article in USA Today on the topic of U.S. college football coaches’ compensation:
At least 50 coaches are making seven figures, seven more than a year ago. At least a dozen are pulling down $2 million or more, up from nine in 2006. Last season, Stoops was the only one making more than $3 million.
“Is this a favorable trend? The answer is: Of course not,” says LSU Chancellor Sean O’Keefe, who worked out the new deal with Miles. “That said, it’s also market dynamics. The value of things is determined by the demand that exists. There’s nothing unfair about that.”
I often consider the free market to be like the developmentally delayed little brother I never had: I love it dearly, but sometimes it’s as dumb as a bag of rocks.