Letters to the Editor/Online Comments

BY DI READERS | MAY 17, 2013 5:00 AM

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RE: ‘Highest-paid state employee shouldn’t be football coach’

Thank you, Benjamin, for pointing out May 16 that the pay scale in Iowa is ridiculously out of balance. A $3.725 million salary for a football coach is a huge insult to every teacher and professor in the state. The $725,000 should be enough. Ferentz’s team won half as many games as it lost, so, why the highest salary in the state?

Football doesn’t address education, health, clean air and water, green energy, more efficient motors and insulation to reduce demand for fuel. It’s supposed to be a sport, not the “major” part of a university, as it is being treated by too many people and some of the media.

Elise Gauley Vega
Iowa City resident

It’s an age-old argument. Yours is a good one, but this is not new. This has always been about money. Go ahead and hire a coach of the Hawk football team who will work for less. If the team remains a draw for the fans, I’d say, "great move, you’re a genius". If the team has some bad years and fans stop coming, watch the economy of Iowa City (and surrounding towns) head into the tank. It will have a ripple effect that will affect many — not just the 30-40 teachers you want to hire.

It’s just a game but it affects much more than is reflected in the score on Saturday. To keep a good coach these days — and many schools would go after Kirk in a heart beat if he were made available — it costs a lot of money. $3.7 million per year is too much for a career 0.583 (basically, 7-5 every year) coach but it does cost money to make money.

Online user rb6banjo

Kirk Ferentz’s salary, along with the rest of the University of Iowa athletic department budget, is funded entirely without the use of state funds or university fees. This has been true since 2007. Instead, athletics is financed through other sources of revenue such as ticket sales, private donations, etc. It is worth pointing out that this is not true for Iowa’s other publicly funded universities.

Neal Ternes

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