Swinney is using $265,000 of the raise he earned for winning the ACC and putting it toward paying his assistant coaches more. He earned the bonus of $422,000 for that ACC title, which means he gave more than half of that to his assistants.
Apparently, this doesn’t happen very often in college football but Swinney apparently felt he needed to enhance his coaches’ salaries a little more for whatever reason. Plus, it’s a nice symbol of his “investment” in Clemson’s program.
The only difference between Swinney and Richt is that Swinney “allocated” the money before it was actually paid to him. He basically told the university to take his raise and distribute it between several assistant coaches. Richt, on the other hand, took money that had already been paid to him, then gave it to his coaches, thereby creating several minor NCAA violations.
Richt’s violations included a time in which he paid several non-football coaches because the university was experiencing “difficult economic conditions.” In other words, he did what the university should have done.
But why is this happening? Because this is probably not the last time something like this will make the press.
The short answer seems to be that a Division-1 football programs are getting more expensive to run every year. The salaries of the best assistant coaches have begun creeping into the million-dollar range. Recruiting is an ever more expansive operation for the richest schools, even in the mail department.
This is a result of the incredible advertising, sponsorship, and ticket proceeds universities make every fall with their marquee programs. The coaches who make it happen are going to want a larger slice of the pie as profits continue to increase. Plus, it’s not like universities are going to just willingly give assistant coaches or players (via scholarship stipend increases) they see as replaceable commodities.
It’s also good press for the coaches who give their own personal money to others and pretend it’s out of pure generosity. OK, maybe I’m being a little cynical, but Swinney could have kept this secret if he had wanted to.
Whatever the cause, expect to see it more often moving forward.