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January 08, 2008
Out of Bounds? When Employees Make More than Top Executives
Monday night, LSU defeated Ohio State in the BCS National Title game. But don't feel too bad for Ohio State coach Jim Tressel. By way of comparison, he's got more than twice the many reasons to be happy than the university's president...

Is your CEO your highest-paid employee? Your answer is probably "no" if you work for a college with a top-ranked sports program, where football and/or basketball coaches regularly make more than the college president.

And this doesn't sit well with Ohio State president E. Gordon Gee. He recently told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that he is "put-off" by the rising salaries of coaches, where coaching salaries at the so-called NCAA "power conferences," including Ohio State's Big Ten Conference, average $1.2 million, not including benefits, perquisites, and incentives, according to a study by USA Today.

Gee also revealed on Bloomberg Radio's sports show "On the Ball" this past weekend that although he is the highest-paid president among the Big Ten universities, his salary is well below that of the lowest-paid football coaches. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, Gee receives total compensation of over $1 million, which is less than what he received at his last job as Chancellor of Vanderbilt University (estimated at $1.8 million).

Meanwhile, Ohio State's football coach, Tressel, made about $2.4 million this season, along with a $200,000 bonus for making the BCS championship game, according to The Plain Dealer. So you might not need to feel too bad for him that Ohio State lost the game 38-24, considering his salary is twice as much as Gee's.

"I think all this stuff has run awry, when you think of the purpose of education and the purpose of universities," Gee is quoted in The Plain Dealer. "Now the market demands it, so we live in a market economy. Nonetheless, I can rail against it and believe we ought to do something."

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