Alabama: 45th in helping kids, No. 1 in paying coach

Alabama has their priorities straight, don’t they.

MONTGOMERY, Alabama (AP) — The $4 million-a-year salary offered to the University of Alabama’s new football coach has some questioning the priorities in a poor state that often ranks near the bottom nationally for education.

Many Crimson Tide fans, hopeful for another championship title, cheered the hiring of Nick Saban, who took a cut from his $4.5 million salary to leave the Miami Dolphins. His compensation at Alabama, though, makes him the highest paid college coach in the country, well ahead of Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops, who makes about $3.4 million.

The reported salary is more than most CEOs make in a state that ranks 46th in the country in household income, with a median of $37,502. It also is nearly seven times what the university’s president, Robert E. Witt, earns, according to an executive-compensation database compiled by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

The hiring announced Wednesday also came on the same day Education Week magazine released a study showing Alabama ranked 45th nationally in giving public schoolchildren a chance for success.

“You couldn’t have a more stark picture of education priorities in the state of Alabama,” said Jim Carnes, communications director for Alabama Arise, a coalition that represents the poor. “We put that kind of money into a college football coach and leave our younger children at the mercy of inadequate schools and underpaid teachers. We strongly need a priority adjustment.”

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  1. Bagel Blogger January 7, 2007 at 10:21 am

    Before you read this comment to set the mood click Play it will open in another window.

    Hey Ya aawl, but ore those lucky kuds will get to see some really gud games.
    Wat more do ya need in life than a gud wad of chewen tabako and a futboll game!

    Why, I can here the new education them song playing right now.

    [tune of ‘deliverance’]

  2. Jack's Shack January 7, 2007 at 5:40 am


    Priorities are a little skewed here.


    It is not a good thing.

  3. Leaf January 5, 2007 at 5:57 pm

    As a grad of an SEC school, I really want to defend Alabama, but I can’t. They suck, they are horrible and they are ruining college football. It is like a good ole boys network down there with Paul Bryant Jr. and his cronies running the show in the state university system. I have been to Tuscaloosa once and vow never to return to the state again.

  4. seawitch January 5, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    Priorities man, priorities!! Those Alabama kids will just have to suck it up while the state loses manufacturing jobs because employees can’t follow picture instructions!

    I’m glad I live in Mississippi! My state legislatures are looking at ways to increase funding for our schools. $34 million could provide a lot of teachers and other resources. The score card on our education efforts came back adequate and that’s not good enough and our officials know it.

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