Sports is big business around the globe. The sports industry generated more than $90 billion in 2017. And in America, the NCAA is one of the industry's biggest economic movers. The NCAA generated over a billion dollars in 2017. The college governing body recently signed an $8.8 billion broadcasting extension with Turner Sports—and that deal is just for March Madness.
When it recently became evident that top colleges are paying their players under the table, many had the same reaction: good. The players deserve it.
NCAA coaches are perhaps the biggest beneficiaries of the hulking revenue this "amateurism" system generates. As ESPN illustrates with a new story and infographic, college basketball and football coaches are the highest-paid employees in almost every state.
Alabama football coach Nick Saban was the highest earner in 2017, as he received $11.1 million. Other top-paid football coaches included Clemson's Dabo Swinney ($8.5 million), Michigan's Jim Harbaugh ($7 million), and Ohio State's Urban Meyer ($6.4 million).
Jimbo Fisher, who received $5.7 million from Florida State, recently left that low-paying opportunity to coach at Texas A&M, where he'll receive $7.5 million per year.
Though football coaches dominate the upper echelon of the list, there are plenty of handsomely paid college hoops coaches, too. Kentucky's John Calipari received $7.1 million. Kansas' Bill Self received $4.8 million. West Virginia's Bob Huggins got $3.6 million. Those three coaches all have their teams in the Sweet 16, and they're perennial contenders, but still—wow, that's a lot of money.