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Bravo Billy Donovan

Mar 21, 2014 -- 8:05am

If I was starting a college basketball program my first choice for coach would be Florida’s Billy Donovan. I really like the man and respect the coach. Yeah, it borders on a “man crush”.

I’m okay with Donovan making $3½ million a year even with Gator Nation treating its basketball program as a mere diversion between the football season and spring practice. (Of course basketball also takes a backseat to football during National Football Recruit Signing Week in February.)

Generally speaking, however, I think the salaries of most of today’s major college coaches are ridiculous.

What’s more ridiculous is the bonus money the highly-paid coaches can earn(?). Not even Donovan escapes my wrath on this. (Sadly, I realize how competitive the market is for coaches with Donovan’s pedigree.) 

Big-time college athletics aren’t the only guilty parties. I’m always amazed when I hear about a pro athlete who makes, say, $15 million a year getting a $100,000 bonus for making the all-star team or a company CEO who earns millions of dollars in bonus money on top of some obscene salary.

But what separates college athletics from the others is how their leaders whine so much about how they can’t provide more for the athletes because money is tight.

But let me get back to Donovan. Already Billy the Kid has made $187,500 in bonuses for making the NCAA tournament, winning SEC titles for the regular season and the conference tournament, for being voted SEC coach of the year and for being ranked in the final AP poll top 10.

He can make up to $225,000 more if the Gators win the big one and he’s named national coach of the year. That’s $350,000 on top of $3½ million.

It just seems to me for $3½ million you’re already paying for those kinds of achievements and the bonus money could be better spent.

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