JACK'S SMACK: College coaches need to share the wealth with student athletes

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The salaries of college basketball coaches have become a hot-button topic for many fans.

I bring this up because of the Final Four. There's a story in USA Today that reveals some of the finer points in Bill Self's contract at Kansas.

The latest version of his 10-year deal kicked in a year ago this month.

The newspaper reports Self stands to earn more than $50 million in that contract – not including incentives worth additional millions of dollars.

The story discusses the obscenely rising salaries of college coaches in a time of limited resources. The Kansas legislature is currently talking about cutting millions of dollars in the KU budget.

USA Today says Self got a $1.3 million raise, pushing his annual salary to $4.9 million. He's also entitled to all KU athletic department royalty payments from merchandise sales at the campus book store in June. That's the month Self conducts his lucrative basketball camps.

Look, I say good for Bill Self. The KU brand has never been more prominent on a national scale. The 50-year-old coach has won 300 games in 10 years at KU.

As long as the football program remains buried in the sand at KU, Self's value to this university has no ceiling.

But here's my issue with these outlandish salaries coaches are making. It is incumbent now for Self and other high-profile coaches to band together and put pressure on the NCAA to do more financially for these athletes.

The coaches owe it to their profession that these players share in some of the revenues flowing through athletic departments around the country. These young men are responsible for generating most of it.

And please, don't remind me their education is provided at no cost. If the players are any good, they're one and done and could care less about getting an education.

It's high time for these coaches to share the wealth.

That's Jack's Smack.

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