Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh says he’s not worth $5 million, but…


In an interview with a Detroit TV station Monday, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh was asked if he’s worth the $5 million salary (plus bonuses and incentives) he’ll earn in 2015. His response? “No.”

The Detroit Free Press’ Mark Snyder transcribed Harbaugh’s more detailed explanation, which has some good self-awareness in it — but Harbaugh said he wouldn’t take a pay cut to try to set a precedent at the college level.

And why would he? He’s being paid around market value, if not a little higher — but the seven-year, $40.1 million contract he signed isn’t outlandish for an elite coach. With all the money flowing into power conferences through TV deals, Michigan’s athletic department could afford to shell out that kind of money to a guy who’s won at Stanford and with San Francisco.

Of course, with all that money around, it begs the question: Why can’t the players get a cut of it? Why has the market shifted so drastically toward paying coaches when college football is, to an extent, a players’ game?

We’ll see how Harbaugh does, but there are only a handful of coaches at the college level who have proven to have a championship-level impact on their programs. Nick Saban and Urban Meyer are the first guys that come to mind there. Does Gene Chizik win a title at Auburn without Cam Newton? Probably not.

It works both ways for coaches, though, who run the risk of getting fired because 1) they weren’t able to bring in good players or 2) they didn’t turn recruiting success into wins. A lot of those coaches get buyouts, though — Notre Dame, as of last year, was still paying Charlie Weis more than Brian Kelly — which provides a far better cushion than when a player loses his scholarship because of a devastating injury.

The hours for being a college football coach, too, are insane — if you’re not recruiting, watching film, meeting with players, running practices, preparing game plans, etc., nearly 365 days a year, you’re behind the competition. Though it’s not like college football players exactly have an easy schedule, between practice, class, film study, workouts, study hall and the like.

I guess the main point here — yes, Jim Harbaugh is worth the money to Michigan, because that’s what the system calls for. And that’s unfortunate, because if the market value for a top coach was, say, $2 million a year, the $3 million a year difference maybe, just maybe, could go into a fund for the players. Which, divided among 85 scholarships, would come out to a little more than $35,000 a year — it’s still below their actual value, but at least it’s a livable wage and better than $0.

Georgia state rep. proposes pay-for-play legislation with a twist that will make no one happy

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Ever since California’s SB 206 passed last September, more than a dozen states followed with their own versions of the Golden State’s Fair Pay to Play Act, to go along with a number of concurrent pushes in Washington. No matter your stance on the pay-for-play issue or what side of the political aisle you sit on, it seems we can all agree that politicians are not the people to solve this issue, and yet the NCAA kept dragging its feet, and dragging its feet, and draaaaggging its feeetttt and, well, here we are. And Sandra Scott‘s bill a large reason why.

Scott, a state representative in Georgia (D-Rex) has introduced HB 766, a type of compromise bill that will make no one happy.

The appeal, at least from the outside, of California’s SB 206, is that it would allow college athletes to capitalize on their popularity during the lifetime of that popularity while costing the school very little money, since the money would come from third-parties.

Scott’s bill does neither. In fact, it goes out of its way to do the opposite.

According to HB 766, Georgia would require its schools to set aside a third of all monies earned in postseason play into an escrow account, which would then be given to players upon graduation.

Read for yourself below.

To recap, Scott’s bill would cost the schools millions of dollars and also shut out a lot of the players who generate those millions. Why should, say, Jake Fromm be barred from having a hand in the money he produced for Georgia just because he went pro?

In short, Scott’s (well-meaning) bill would anger both schools and athletes while continuing the overly paternalistic attitudes adults have adopted toward college athletes that applies to no other demographic in college sports.

Trey Holtz set to join father Skip’s staff at Louisiana Tech

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Coaching is the family business for the Holtz family, and now two of them will work under the same roof.

As first reported by Bleed Tech Blue, Louis Leo Holtz, Jr., better known as Skip Holtz, has hired Louis Leo Holtz III, better known as Trey Holtz. The younger Holtz will serve as Louisiana Tech’s wide receivers coach.

Trey Holtz played his college ball at Texas under Mack Brown and Charlie Strong. A reserve quarterback, Holtz appeared in 23 games as a holder in 2015-16.

He then moved into the family business at Ohio State, where he worked as a graduate assistant for the past three years. Holtz worked with the Buckeyes’ running backs and tight ends, but will now coach receivers for his father’s staff. He replaces Todd Fitch, who left to become the offensive coordinator at Vanderbilt.

For the Holtz family, Skip hiring Trey is an act of history repeating itself. After serving as a GA at Florida State and Colorado State, Skip’s first full-time job came on his father Lou Holtz‘s staff as Notre Dame’s wide receivers coach in 1990. Skip was promoted to offensive coordinator in 1992 and became Connecticut’s head coach in 1994.

Two workers injured by falling beams at Bryant-Denny Stadium renovation

Getty Images

Two workers were injured Saturday by falling beams at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

The workers were laboring on a manlift when a pair of beams fell and struck the lift, trapping the workers, who were not named.

Firefighters responded around 5 p.m. Saturday to extract the workers, who were “seriously injured,” according to AL.com. After they were extracted, the workers were transported to DCH Regional Medical Center. Their condition was not known as of press time.

The workers were working on a $92.5 million phase of renovation to Bryant-Denny Stadium, announced in last fall. Crimson Tide AD Greg Byrne said in September that construction would be expedited to meet an aggressive schedule.

“We realized this is an aggressive construction schedule we are going to be talking about. However, our contractors are confident. They have expressed they will deliver this on time,” he said at the time.

Mizzou adds Va Tech’s second-leading receiver

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Missouri’s passing game received a boost this weekend in the form of a new receiver. Damon Hazelton, Jr., has joined the team as a graduate transfer.

Hazelton arrives via Virginia Tech, but announced over earlier this month he would leave Blacksburg. This is the second transfer of his career; the Towson, Md., native signed with Ball State out of high school.

Hazelton made the announcement Saturday through a social media post.

After sitting out 2017 as an undergraduate transfer, Hazelton led the 2018 Hokies with 51 grabs for 802 yards and eight touchdowns. His production dipped a bit in 2019, registering 31 catches for 527 yards but still collecting eight touchdowns.

He joins a Mizzou receiving corps where no player caught more than 31 passes in a Kelly Bryant-led offense. With Bryant out of eligibility and Eli Drinkwitz now running the show, expect Hazelton to be the focus of the Tigers’ re-tooled passing game.