clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Ohio State’s Urban Meyer is college football’s third-highest paid coach, but is it enough?

Also, Urban’s not going to tell you who’s leading the quarterback battle until he absolutely has to.

NCAA Football: Cotton Bowl-Ohio State vs Southern California Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

“In reality, Meyer is not worth $7.6 million per year, which will make him the third-highest paid coach nationally behind Alabama’s Nick Saban and Clemson’s Dabo Swinney. He is worth more.”

-David Briggs, The Toledo Blade

In terms of the market value, Urban Meyer— as well as Saban and Swinney— are worth whatever a school is willing to pay him; and far be it for me to stand between another person and a paycheck. However, the other side of the equation is whether or not a school— Ohio State in this case— should be willing to pay their football coach that much money?

In his article, Briggs does a good job of breaking down all of the value that the OSU football program— and by extension, Meyer— brings to the university at large; including the athletic department surplus, enrollment spikes, enhanced marketing abilities, and much more; and all of that is true and valid, and I 100 percent support it.

After all, Ohio State is in the rare situation where they have the ability to justify paying a coach this much. All they have to do is point to the $40 million that athletics gave back to the university last year. So, both from a free market and a university finances position, there isn’t a problem with paying a coach whatever they want.

It’s also hard to argue that anyone in college football— save Saban— has done more with his programs on the field to deserve it.

However, whenever we start talking about the ever escalating landscape of coaches’ salaries, my brain always circles back to the fact that these adults are making millions of dollars on the backs of much younger men, who are incredibly limited in their ability to do exactly what their coaches are doing; financially capitalizing on their talents and notoriety.

Now, I’m not going to get into an argument about whether or not colleges and universities should straight-up pay their players, because, personally, I believe that such a move would result in catastrophically fewer programs across the board, thus limiting the opportunities of thousands of people nationwide from receiving a college education.

That being typed, if Meyer can find a school willing to pay him $7.6 million, why can’t Dwayne Haskins find a local McDonald’s franchise willing to pay him $10,000? Or better yet, why can’t St. Thomas Aquinas High School pay Nick Bosa to come back and work a camp during the offseason? Furthermore, why can’t the anchor on the women’s 4x400 relay team give swimming lessons? (I’m simplifying NCAA rules, I know, but you get the picture)

If you want to put limits on these types of things to prevent anything too untoward from happening, ok, but if people are going to get up in arms about how many millions a university should or shouldn’t pay a coach, maybe let’s table that until we figure out why players aren’t allowed to be paid at all by anyone, anywhere, despite being the ones generating the income in the first place.


Is Urban Meyer underpaid?

This poll is closed

  • 65%
    He’s the best in the business, pay the man.
    (82 votes)
  • 27%
    It’s college football, all coaches are overpaid.
    (34 votes)
  • 7%
    Talk to me when you get serious about paying players what they deserve.
    (9 votes)
125 votes total Vote Now

“Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer spoke publicly Wednesday afternoon for the first time in nine days, and he said the competition among Dwayne Haskins Jr., Joe Burrow and Tate Martell remains too close to call.”

-Bill Rabinowitz, The Columbus Dispatch

I’m going to go ahead and break it to you all, it wouldn’t matter if Joe Burrow was lightyears ahead of Dwayne Haskins, or if Tate Martell was just not physically capable of performing at the Big Ten level (neither of which I am suggesting, mind you), but Urban Meyer isn’t going to tell us anyway.

Meyer has no intention of divulging any information to the public (and opponents) that he doesn’t have to. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if part of him wouldn’t mind seeing Saturday’s spring game cancelled, just to avoid all of the coaches on this fall’s schedule having another bit of film on whomever ends up under center for the Buckeyes.

The last time that Meyer had a quarterback competition to contend with, it was a much different situation. J.T. Barrett was the starter that led OSU to a remarkable season before getting hurt against Michigan, paving the way for Cardale Jones to finish the run to the National Championship.

The following fall, Meyer had two proven options to go with, and he still kept it close to the proverbial vest as long as possible. Now, he has two backups who have played well, but only in limited, mop-up duty, and a redshirt freshman who is likely undersized for the job, but that Meyer can’t stop raving about.

So, with no clear favorite from the outside looking in, I would be shocked if Meyer tips his hand before mid-August (if not later), just to keep opponents guessing as long as possible.

“Holtmann’s first foray into the grad transfer market at Ohio State went exceedingly well, especially given the timing of things. He’ll have to match that again for the Buckeyes to avoid taking an expected significant step back from the second-place Big Ten finish and NCAA Tournament appearance they had last year.”

-Bill Landis,

Ohio State basketball coach Chris Holtmann desperately needs another ball-handler for next season to spell C.J. Jackson. However, in his search to find an experienced graduate-transfer able to play right away, Holtmann is hitting an understandable wall for one specific reason, the Buckeyes are going to be rebuilding in 2018-19.

The recent commitments from Florida State transfer CJ Walker and five-star forward Alonzo Gaffney have been great for the program’s outlook, but neither will be able to suit up for the Buckeyes until the 2019-20 season, leaving this odd limbo year between the unexpected success with Keita Bates-Diop, Jae’Sean Tate, Kam Williams, and Andrew Dakich and the infusion of Holtmann’s first real recruiting class.

So, that leaves Holtmann in a tough spot; guys looking to transfer for one final season are usually hoping for a chance to play in the NCAA Tournament, especially if they are moving up to a bigger program. And, unfortunately, it looks like that will be a long-shot for the Buckeyes this year (not that it wasn’t this past season too).

“We’re not hiding who we lost. We’re pretty transparent,” Holtmann said according to Landis. “They look at it, and I think there are some questions. That’s not always the No. 1 criteria, but for guys who haven’t played in the tournament it’s usually a pretty high criteria for them. It’s something we’ve had to address.”

There is also the issue of having to clear Ohio State’s relatively high academic bar for admissions, which again limits the number of players able to join the team for the fall. So, while finding that Dakich-style unicorn would be a huge help for this fall’s Buckeyes, it looks like it might be a much harder sell than anyone anticipated.