How does a state university football coach make over $20 million in a decade? Just ask former Ohio State University coach Jim Tressel, who was forced to walk away from his job with a reported $21.7 million dollars in earnings for a decade’s worth of work.
Tressel was ousted from his OSU post for breaking NCAA rules.
However, the exorbitant sums of money that Tressel was bringing in is not why the NCAA forced him to leave his post. Rather, Tressel was forced to resign due to his failure to inform his bosses that members of the OUS football team where trading team memorabilia for cash and even tattoos.
Tressel has warned team members of the violations, but failed to notify university heads and the NCAA.
Tressel resigned from his post on Memorial Day.
Now the controversy of Tressel’s forced resignation is moving beyond tattoos and memorabilia traded for cash, and people are wondering how a public school can afford to allocate so much of its funds to one coach, especially in an era where most students, even exceptional ones, are forced to take out high levels of debt in order to simply attend and pay for college.
OSU is a publically funded university and Tressel was accepting benefits of large sums of money in forms of contracts, car leases, country club memberships, football tickets, and more.
One such contract earned Tressel $4.6 million under an exclusive deal between Ohio State and the sports apparel company Nike. These benefits were on top of his salary of $3.5 million last year.
The NCAA is conducting an “active investigation” into the scandal.
NCAA President Mark Emmert has said of the scandal, “I think the general issue is making sure the (university’s) resources are being deployed as effectively as they can. The marketplace for salaries is the marketplace for salaries, and everyone understands that.”
OSU President offered the same sentiment arguing, "We need to pay people what they are worth."
Nevertheless, many students and parents are wondering how the sums add up and people saddled with debt over education will continue to question the worthiness of compensation at an educational institution that is chockfull with perks and benefits that a majority of students will never see in a lifetime, but that they might be paying off for a lifetime.