$77 Million To Not Coach Is Crazy

By John J. Duncan Jr.


A few months ago I wrote that I thought paying the Tennessee football coach $9,000,000 a year (over $24,400 a day) was ridiculous, and even in a way sinful.

I wrote that Coach Heupel seems like a nice man and he is a very good coach, but deep down inside probably even he knows he is not worth that much for coaching a sport. No one is.

Now, the sports world has gone even crazier. Texas A&M will now be paying their recently fired coach, Jimbo Fisher, $77 million to not coach.

This follows about three years ago Auburn paying a coach $21.7 million to not coach, and then paying the next coach about $15 million when they fired him.

When Former LSU coach Ed Orgeron found out in 2021 that he was going to be paid $17 million to not coach, he said he told the Athletic Director, “When do you want me to leave, and what door do you want me to go out of?”

A very significant part of higher education, several hundred billion, is funded by state and federal taxes. Yet the major universities go to Congress and the state legislatures every year begging for more.

I know these payments come from money paid by very wealthy fanatical football fans. But if Congress and/or the state legislatures don’t take action, these payments will go even higher.

In my 30 years in Congress, I never voted for any tax increase because the federal government is so wasteful and inefficient. Also, socialist countries all over the world have proved that prices are lower, more jobs are created, and poor people are helped most when more money is kept in the private sector.

But there are exceptions to everything, and paying coaches many millions to not coach is going too far. A tax law could be written to get some of the money, even if much of it is deferred.

At a Congressional hearing on vaccines a few years ago, when I found out Sen. Joe Manchin’s daughter was making almost $20 million a year heading up a big drug company, I said, “No one could really earn that much” in one year.

At the very least, state legislatures should stop making taxpayers pay for new buildings and the federal government should stop giving grants to colleges and universities that can get many millions contributed to pay coaches who are no longer coaching.

Thirteen months ago, I wrote another column about a bill that I said “may be one of the worst” that Congress has ever passed.

It was called the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, but should have been called the Unfair To Taxpayers Bill or the Lawyers Get Rich Quick Bill.

It has turned out to be even worse than I thought. I was in Washington a few weeks ago and read that there have now been over 17,000 claims filed under this law totaling $3.3 trillion.

One Maryland personal injury law firm estimated that 100,000 to 200,000 claims might be filed.

Democrats seem to have no qualms about spending money we do not have. That is why we are $33 trillion in debt.

All the Democrats voted for the bill along with a few, but unfortunately enough Republicans to pass it. I told Congressman Burchett I was disappointed he voted for it, and I hope he is sorry he did so.

Every bill that is introduced is given an apple pie and motherhood title. But if Congress passed every bill, the country would collapse.

This bill was supposedly for veterans, but the way it was written – to apply even to family members – most of the money will go to lawyers and even to people who never served one day in the military.

Hopefully, most of these claims will not be paid, but the lowest cost estimate I have seen on this bill is several hundred billion.

As I wrote about this bill last year, any well-organized group could find scientists who “would say that practically everything we eat or drink is toxic and harmful. Similar lawsuits could probably be filed about the water at every military base or even in just about every city.”

This Camp Lejeune bill shows once again that it is simply too easy to spend other people’s money. And when sports announcers dress up to be on TV while people dress down to go to church, it shows that to many millions, football is more important than God.