University of Florida president Bernie Machen has come out stating head football coach Urban Meyer deserves a raise.
“He should be [the SEC’s highest-paid coach],” Machen said, according to the Orlando Sentinel. “He’s the best.”
LSU coach Les Miles is currently the highest-paid coach in the SEC, arguably the strongest football conference in the NCAA.
While I do agree with Machen’s idea in principle, of course performance should be rewarded and Meyer is the best coach in the nation right now, this is not the right time for a raise. Why? Because on Tuesday the school announced over $42 million in budget cuts. This is in addition to $69 million that was slashed over the past two years. In the middle of this budget crisis, it doesn’t seem like a raise for the head football coach should be among the school’s top concerns.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge college football fan. I get it – Florida doesn’t want to lose Meyer to a higher bidder that could come calling. However, this should be a decision that the university and Meyer should come to an agreement on so they both come out of it looking good. There are other needs the school has and could use that money for, like things that directly affect its student-athletes, that are more important in the greater scheme of things. Florida and Meyer should both remember, college is an institution for learning first. And yes, football is a huge revenue generator for the school, but even considering that, I think the money that would go toward a Meyer raise could affect many more students if used elsewhere. Waiting and not working out a raise right now will make both the university and Meyer look far better in the eyes of the football community and greater community at-large.