College football coaches and CEOs are alike in that both are often accused of being grossly overpaid. Yet the two are also alike in that they are actually worth those enormous salaries, according to a study from Vanderbilt University professors.
The study, which compared 947 coaching contracts from 2005 to 2013 against those of private sector CEOS, found "many commonalities between the structure and incentives of the employment contracts of CEOs and these football coaches." Namely, the researchers found that the value coaches returned to their schools — via increased ticket sales, bigger TV deals, and so on — was commensurate with their pay. That largely mirrored CEO salaries, which are typically tied to company performance, according to the study.
"As such we find no evidence that the structure of college football coach contracts is misaligned, or that they are overpaid," the authors determined.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban made $5.4 million last year, which Forbes suggested left him underpaid.