At ABC's "World Newser" blog, Chuck Lustig, ABC's Director of Foreign News, laments big-money college athletics, represented by Nick Saban's reported eight-year, $32 million contract to coach college football at Alabama. Perhaps he can carry around a protest sign reading "Books Not (Long) Bombs." Expect another blog to follow from an ABC feminist complaining that Alabama's coaches for women's sports are being cheated of larger salaries, a sure Title IX violation. Lustig lamented:
Then I started to think about the $40 million Oprah Winfrey spent to build a school in South Africa and asked the question is there something wrong with our educational priorities in this country that a college coach can make so much money at a time when many of our country's school districts are wrangling with huge deficits?
Some would argue that a major winning program can bring tens of millions of dollars in revenue to a school. I would counter that all you need to do is Google "school deficit" to find how many school districts in our country are in dire need of additional funding.
I can understand the argument that the football coach at the University of Alabama isn't on merit the most important person on campus, and certainly the professors there would feel underappreciated by comparison. Coaches' pay all over sports is rising...as fast as tuition? But it's very typically liberal to equate spending with achievement, that we show our "priorities" solely by throwing money at a problem. Some of the schools that show up in the recommended Google search are school systems, like Philadelphia's, that have been a bureaucratic disaster no matter how much money is spent. Dollars aren't the only way to measure compassion.