I am a firm believer in allowing college athletes to be paid for the amount of money they bring into their respective colleges and universities. They give up a large portion of their lives every year, and only the best of the best are able to move to the professional level.
However, it seems while student athletes weren't getting their push for unionization taken seriously, another group has been able to dip its toes in the college football money machine: strength and conditioning coaches.
In fact, according to articles by Total Frat Move and USA Today, some strength and conditioning coaches make an upwards of $600,000. By comparison the head coach of UMass, a fellow D-1 (FBS) school makes $250,000. Brian Kelley, head coach of Notre Dame, makes just over one million dollars.
According to University of Iowa, who pays their strength coach $595,000, he deserves it.
“Most of the people who follow our program know that what’s very important to Kirk is student-athlete development — physically, mentally, leadership,” Iowa athletics director Gary Barta said Monday. “He relies heavily on Chris’ role in that.”
It's important to remember Iowa (a public school) has only been in the AP's final top ten 7 times in the past 20 years, and yet they're willing to shell out over half a million dollars for someone to watch over athletes in the weight room.
I do believe that strength and conditioning coaches have an on-field impact. Rigorous and well managed training can reduce risk of injury, allow players to change position, and allow players to build healthy muscle mass without turning to excessive supplements or worse.
However, it is obscene that strength and conditioning coaches are able to receive a six figure salary, and student athletes can't even receive a weekly stipend. We have gotten to the point where this strength coach at Alabama can make $525,000 dollars a year.
It's time to spread the wealth in college sports to the athletes that play them.
Lead Image Credit: Iowa Hawkeyes via Twitter