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August 21, 2004

Big 12 AD Salaries: Equal Work For Equal Pay?

FROM THE BIG 12 CONFERENCE comes eye-opening validation of the significant salary inflation among Division I-A Athletic Directors.

While there is much dispute and contention about the propriety of the increased compensation packages, the facts of the matter are that they have increased dramatically over the past two decades.

For example, in 1984 Kansas AD Monte Johnson earned about $60,000. Lew Perkins, the current KU AD, has a salary of $420,000. Even with inflation factored in, Perkins earns four times what Johnson did. The differential is even greater due to supplemental income sources that today’s ADs make over and above their salaries. For example, Perkins earns some $100,000 extra from a media deal, as well as some other income sources.

Some--families and friends of ADs maybe?--say that the more robust pay scales are more in line with the challenges of a position whose responsibilities have expanded rapidly. Others however--envious fans, underpaid faculty, disgruntled alumni maybe?—think that the huge pay packages are part of what fuels the arms race, and tilt college athletics ever more toward commercialism and away from academics.

As with so many debates, elements from both camps ring true.

The following are salaries of Big 12 ADs. (These figures do not include the myriad of supplemental bonuses and deals that could $100,00-plus annually).

Lew Perkins, Kansas University: $420,000

Bill Byrne, Texas A&M;: $350,000

Steve Pederson, Nebraska: $350,000

DeLoss Dodds, Texas: $318,000

Joe Castiglione, Oklahoma: $295,000

Tim Weiser, Kansas State: $257,000

Mike Alden, Missouri: $225,000

Bruce Van De Velde, Iowa State: $200,000

Gerald Myers, Texas Tech: $195,000

Dick Tharp, Colorado: $175,000

Harry Birdwell, Oklahoma State: $163,000

Note: Baylor is the only private school in the Big 12 and does not have to disclose its salaries.

(this 290 word excerpt—with accompanying commentary—was distilled from a 786 word article in the Lawrence (KS) Journal-World of 8-17-04)