Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Well-Deserved Windfall Finally Blows to Coaches

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Well-Deserved Windfall Finally Blows to Coaches

Article excerpt

Good for Rick Pitino.

Perhaps you gasped when he signed that 10-year, $70 million contract to lead the Boston Celtics. But this breakthrough was long overdue.

Until recently, coaches couldn't plug into the sports salary surge. How silly! If the money is there for players, it should be there for the mentors who make them work. If a stiff such as Jim McIlvaine is worth $35 million to play sparingly in Seattle, shouldn't a brilliant coach such as Pitino be worth twice that in Boston? Certainly. Given the sorry state of the Philadelphia 76ers, Larry Brown should get $20-$25 million over five years to clean up the mess. It may take until 1999 just to introduce Allen Iverson to his wide-open teammates. And there is nothing exorbitant about Pat Riley's five-year, $15 million deal - even if his ownership stake in the Miami Heat could someday be worth another $25 million. Who was Ike Austin until Riley made him into a player? Or Voshon Lenard? The argument against coaches, of course, is that fans don't pay to watch them draw plays on chalkboards, fill out lineup cards or order quarterback sneaks on fourth and 1. Some of these guys are hideous dressers and most would pull a muscle if asked to make a spectacular athletic play. Only a few would qualify as compelling bench performers. Chicago Bulls coach Phil Jackson, for instance, seems to spend most of his games fighting gas pains. And for all we know New York Yankees manager Joe Torre could be sound asleep behind those sunglasses. Coaches have little if any impact on television ratings. The only produ ct most could pitch is Rolaids or Rogaine. So should they get paid like a Ken Griffey Jr. or Barry Sanders? Of course they should. Top coaches should get paid what top players get, if not more. A top coach is going to maximize team and individual performance, improve the product on the field, court or ice and help sell tickets. Great coaches often have a greater impact than many so-called stars. What good is a talented player (Derrick Coleman, Glenn Robinson, Antoine Walker) on a team that stinks? And aren't great coaches as scarce as great players? Motivating, coordinating and disciplining pro athletes never has been tougher. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.