In the average, day-to-day business world with which most of us are familiar, it’s required that you do an above-average job from one week to the next to ensure you retain your job — and, if you’re lucky, get a menial raise that will help defray our ever-increasing cost of daily life in America.
Needless to say, if you fail at what you are tasked with, a pink slip and the unemployment line are probably waiting — that is, unless you are a college football coach.
If there is any singular item that in my mind defines just how out-of-control big money college sports — in particular, college football — have gotten it’s the exorbitant contract buyouts coaches can now earn essentially for failing at their jobs.
The most recent of these came a few days ago when it was announced that former Ole Miss Rebels head coach Houston Nutt had negotiated a $4.5 million buyout settlement of his former contract. In four seasons in Oxford, Nutt finished with an overall win-loss record of 24-26 — ending the 2011 season prior to his dismissal at 2-10.
If you or I performed with a 17% success rate, our butts would be out the door post haste. For coaches like Nutt, instead, it means they earn a payday equivalent to what most people will make in a lifetime — assuming they are lucky.
I so often hear of people urging their young kids to work toward being a professional in whatever sport they are talented at — in spite of the reality that a miniscule percentage of those kids actually ever realize that reality.
Hell, instead, maybe parents should encourage their kids to learn the X’s and O’s of the sport instead and work like the dickens to move up through the coaching ranks.
Where else can you earn a windfall through failing to perform?
Your answer: nowhere.
Logic definitely doesn’t prevail here, and I will continue to be resentful of coaches like Nutt who could lay on the beach in Hawaii for the next few years and never even waste a moment wondering whether that lifetime of money they now enjoy was actually deserved.
Introspection isn’t needed when money flows like water.
It’s a rough life.