Report: College teams pay $500 million in dead money to coaches to not coach anymore

A half a billion dollars.

NASA will spend $450 million to launch a spacecraft into orbit. Flint, Mich. will need to spend $400 million to address its water crisis. Private islands can be purchased for as high as $65 million.


In the 11 years since its inception, NCAA schools have spent $533.6 million on coaches who are no longer coaching.

ESPN today reported that FBS schools spent this exorbitant amount of dead money on mens and womens basketball and football coaches who were fired before their contracts expired. These numbers were drawn between the first of 2010 and 2021. The largest payouts are reported to have come from Auburn, Nebraska, and Texas, which reportedly paid $31.2 million each.

This is $330,769 per win for Nebraska's 78 victories in this time period.

This figure does not include the record-breaking CFB coach sackings this year. LSUs Ed Orgeron and the Tigers will each receive $16.9million over the next three-years for not being coaches.

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Consider how many scholarships could have been provided for at-risk, low-income students if that money had been available.

Over the years, experts and schools have said that there isn't enough money to pay student athletes. Although the pay-for play model has its problems, the half-billion figure is offensive and insulting to student-athletes who are subject to it. Anti-NIL supporters also claimed that NCAA athletes could be paid by the NCAA, thereby threatening the integrity of the sport. The NCAA model is not the best place for integrity discussions.


Half a billion people are not allowed to coach. The NCAA cracks down at student-athletes for violating NCAA rules of $200 and $300, stripping them of their national titles, and imposing severe restrictions. The United States is the only country with an extreme model for amateur sports. They are willing to spend almost unlimited money on the sport and very little on athletes. When it comes to student-athletes, the NCAA wants to speak only about integrity. The coaches and, in this instance, the coaches are the ones who decide how much money colleges will spend on programs.

While coaches make millions, student-athletes are told that they can be content with a scholarship and the opportunity. Colleges largely ignore the ethical and financial differences between coaches and players. While coaches are an important part of bringing money in, top-tier basketball and football schools want to be able attract and retain top-notch coaches. However, when it comes down it is the players who are making the most for the school. How did we get here? Why do colleges have to spend so much money to sign these coaches and not make a commitment to them during their multi-million-dollar contracts? Why is there no cap on the salaries of coaches?


These questions are being asked by Congress as part of NCAA antitrust hearings and NIL hearings. Although the issue of NCAA-regulated salary caps was not discussed since early 2020, Congressional examinations of NCAA regulations, including those relating to name, image, or likeness, will continue. These discussions concern NIL earnings, and raise the question of whether coaches' salaries should be capped.

It costs half a billion to coach. The NCAA model needs to be changed. It might not be financially feasible for them in the next decade. The NCAA is not to blame in this instance. This huge waste of money is largely attributable to the individual schools and the marketplace. These universities may be institutions of higher learning, but they resemble professional sports leagues in that they are not paid for players.