Home College Football Evan Weiner: Swinney Should Give up His Salary

Evan Weiner: Swinney Should Give up His Salary

Evan Weiner: Swinney Should Give up His Salary
Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney. Photo: Richard Shiro AP

The big game will be played in Tampa with either Alabama or Clemson walking off the field with a college football championship. But there is a buildup leading to the game and then the national telecast and at some time during the presentation, as it always is with college sports, the coach or coaches will be anointed as some sort of genius who are worthy of being the highest paid employee in his state, Nick Saban of Alabama or the highest paid employee at a private school like Clemson’s Dabo Swinney.

The truth is, without the unpaid student-athletes both Saban and Swinney have no value. People are watching the game to see the players and in this case with millions of dollars flowing into the game from television and marketing partners and from those buying tickets, Saban and Swinney get millions to coach when the people putting their necks on the line get nothing. No salary, no long-term health care.

Swinney gets paid a reported $5 million dollars annually to coach a football team. Sure, his players can get something more than bruises from a game if they decide to pursue a free education when they have time away from football. Swinney makes millions off his players’ collective backs but doesn’t think his players need to get paid.

In 2014, Swinney said, “We try to teach our guys, use football to create the opportunities. Take advantage of the platform and the brand and the marketing you have available to you. But as far as paying players, professionalizing college athletics, that’s where you lose me. I’ll go do something else, because there’s enough entitlement in this world as it is.”

Swinney gets paid millions which makes it a profession. Swinney is the poster boy for what is exactly wrong with college sports, coaches making big salaries off of unpaid workers.

By Evan Weiner For The Politics Of Sports Business

This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.


  1. I understand your point, that coaches in general are making a good money, but the athletes have no way to make any of the money. I even agree partially with your point that athletes need to be compensated better. But, is it the coaches we should be upset at? Is it the coaches that should be forking out the money to pay the players? I wonder how many coaches would if they could. I agree coaches are making a tremendous amount of money, but in reality, they are making little compared to the NCAA and the schools. We ought to be upset over the school and NCAA’s regulations that only help fill their own pockets, instead of those they are supposed to serve.


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