Does It Matter That NCAA Men’s Coaches Get Paid More Than Women?

April 4, 2012  |  

by R. Asmerom

It’s no secret that college sports are big business. Many NCAA teams generate a huge amount of revenue for their respective college and universities, which is why the debate over whether student players should be compensated continues to linger.

Another known – yet less often explored – fact is that coaches of women’s NCAA teams are paid much less than the coaches of men’s NCAA teams. As reported in The New York Times, between 2003 and 2010, the salaries of N.C.A.A Division One coaches for men’s teams increased by 67 percent to $267,007 according to the Department of Education. What was the increase for the respective coaches of the women’s teams? 16 percent to $98,106. In Division I basketball more specifically, the salaries of men’s team coaches is double that of women’s teams.

It seems apparent where the discrepancy comes in. Men’s teams often generate more revenue than women’s teams. In actuality, colleges can’t take that into consideration when creating official salaries and contracts for coaches. Because of federal regulations governing gender equity, as laid out in the Pay Act of 1963, the difference in pay comes in the form of “supplements, talent fees, and appearance fees” in a coaches contract.

Furthermore, a college can’t really use the excuse of revenue generation when justifying pay discrepancy. According to The New York Times:

To use revenue numbers as a successful defense, universities must first show that they provide equal support in the form of advertising dollars, support staff and promotional and speaking events to both programs. Legal defenses notwithstanding, the perception that men’s programs receive more support than women’s persists for some people.

It’s doubtful that most universities equally invest in the success of both their men’s and women’s basketball teams. Although this report served to shed light on a discrepancy, what should we do with that for information? The order of capitalism would determine that this discrepancy is fair as this example is not comparable to the salaries of two executives working at the same company. Essentially, women’s collegiate sports and men’s collegiate sports are two separate companies.

What do you think Biz readers?

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