Several coaches’ pays raised, contracts extended

Chandler Wright

The University of Alabama Board of Trustees Compensation Committee approved contracts for University Athletic Director Mal Moore and several coaches during their September meeting, sparking a controversy about the inconsistency in men’s and women’s sports.

Women’s sports coaches’ contracts approved included soccer coach Todd Bramble, whose salary increased to $120,000 and contract is extended through 2014, tennis coach Jenny Mainz, whose salary increased to $110,000 and contract is extended through 2014 and golf coach Mic Potter, whose salary increased to $145,000 and contract is extended through 2016.

Approved men’s sports coaches’ contracts included tennis coach George Husack, who received a new contract through 2016 at $110,000, swimming coach Dennis Pursley, who received a new contract through 2016 at $140,000, golf coach Jay Seawell, whose salary increased to $150,000 and contract is extended through 2016 and basketball coach Anthony Grant, whose contract is extended through 2019.

The Compensation Committee also approved a salary increase for Moore to $620,000.

The committee only reviews specific employee contracts, according to Michael Bownes, the secretary of the Board of Trustees.

According to the Board of Trustees board manual, the committee shall approve compensation for any employee or candidate for employment that exceeds the president’s current state salary by 75 percent. The current University president, Guy Bailey, receives a salary of $535,000, according to Kellee Reinhart, vice chancellor for System Relations. Seventy-five percent of this salary is $401,250.

“Not every contract is specifically considered by the compensation committee or board,” Bownes said. “In fact, a university can lose its accreditation if it is too involved in the responsibilities of various departments.”

Bownes outlined that the athletic department researches and determines what they believe to be an appropriate level of compensation for each coach, and many of these contracts are then brought to approval before the compensation committee.

Doug Walker, the associate athletic director for Communications, said that coaches’ salaries are based on a variety of factors.

“All salaries of coaches at Alabama are based on several factors, including market value in that particular sport, overall competitive record, including the many facets involved in building a program from strong academic achievement to the competitive record of the team,” Walker said in an emailed statement.

Meredith Bagley, an associate professor of rhetoric in the Department of Communication Studies, said the $5,000 difference between the men’s and women’s golf coach salary indicates an inconsistency.

Last spring, the women’s golf team won the NCAA Women’s Golf Championship. The men’s team went to the NCAA Men’s Golf Championship and placed second behind The University of Texas at Austin.

“I would say it’s a remnant of thinking male sports are automatically more intense, more rigorous and, therefore, deserve more compensation,” Bagley said. “So, there’s an inconsistency if they’re going to make their decisions based on revenue versus non-revenue or male versus female.”

Bagley said evaluating these salaries present an interesting opportunity for analysis.

“I adore sports, but I am also a critical sport scholar,” Bagley said. “I go to the games, and then I come to work and think about what’s going on with these issues.”

Although there are many ways to evaluate it, Bagley said a coach’s salary is a base indicator of how much a team’s accomplishments or a coach’s efforts are valued.

“It’s a crass system, in the sense that money is not a complete factor on which to make that judgment,” Bagley said. “From an institutional perspective, though, coaching salary is a major indicator.”