Thursday, December 17, 2009

Women's basketball assistants paid more than men's

Is it necessary to elaborate on this stunning fact reported by Patrick Stevens in the Washington Times? According to the information publicly available (private schools are under no obligation to report salary data) there is not a men's basketball program in the ACC that pays its assistants less than Maryland. Maryland assistants Chuck Driesell, Keith Booth and Rob Eshan combine to make less salary than Virginia assistant Ritchie McKay. When Virginia hired Tony Bennett as their head basketball coach in the off season they gave him a budget of $600,000 to hire assistants while Maryland will spend less than half that amount this season. Every member of the staff at N.C. State is paid more than the highest paid Maryland assistant (Driesell). The Wolfpack have gone 15-33 in ACC play the last three seasons without a single NCAA appearance. The athletic department responded to the story by claiming that the assistants have generous bonuses if they meet certain criteria and that the budget crisis at the University are a factor in the low salaries paid to the assistants.

It is interesting to note that the assistants for the women's basketball team combine to make $60,000 more than the assistants on the men's team. The women's basketball program operates at a sizable loss every season while the men's program generated over $10.7 million in revenue according to the latest figures. Maryland is the only ACC school where the assistants on the women's team make more than the assistants for the men's program. Women's assistant David Adkins who was an assistant high school coach before being hired by Maryland over the summer is paid nearly $20,000 more than men's assistant Rob Eshan. Only in an athletic department like Maryland's would this be allowed to happen. It is made possible by an athletic director that is obsessed with pouring resources into women's programs that have no possible hope of become financially self sufficient while starving the revenue sports of vital funds to pay assistants and staff. I don't have a problem with devoting resources to women's programs and I'm well aware of the Title IX requirements but it shouldn't be at the cost of the programs that pay the bills.

It is true that Driesell, Booth and Eshan do not have extensive experience as assistant coaches prior to coming to Maryland but they have done better than recent assistants with more extensive resumes. Booth was instrumental in recruiting future star Sean Mosley and Rob Eshan has played a major roll in assembling a highly rated 2010 recruiting class. The only assistant in the ACC, either men's or women's, that makes less than Eshan is the husband of the head women's coach at N.C. State who does not draw a salary. Eshan and Booth have earned more respect with what they have produced than to be treated this poorly. It is no wonder that Maryland has struggled to retain and hire good assistants since Jimmy Patsos and Dave Dickerson left College Park. At any basketball program assistant coaches are vital to continued success in recruiting and player development and it would be nice if the athletic department acted like they understood that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Gary should terminate and simply rehire the assistants at the end of the year......Yow and Mote hide behind those kinds of "it' a state school" excuses all the time..Did you know that donating alums get no consideration (ie advantage) than anyone else because "UMD is a state institution". Interesting the dramatic influx of non-state students....thought UMD was a state school!