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Repost: Graduation rates in college football

Wouldn’t it be awesome if the contracts for college football coaches paid out at the graduation rate experienced by their players?

It’d have to be tweaked, of course; it’d be unfair to punish an incoming coach for the poor graduation rates of his predecessor. But imagine: the first year, you might pay the coach 100% of his contract rate, then halve the failure rate for graduation for the next year, then apply the actual graduation rate to his contract for the duration.

And a coach’s tenure would be only reset to one year if he went from college to college; you’d not want to encourage a coach to fail, then get a clean slate by moving to a new college.

Imagine: a coach with a $5,000,000 contract for five years goes to college Wantstowin.

Assuming an even pay rate of one million dollars per year (and holy cow!), the first year he’d be paid his “fair” one million dollars, no matter what his graduation rate for his fourth-year players.

His second year, well, let’s say his graduation rate is a fantastic 68%. That means 32% of his players who should have graduated did not; he gets his pay cut by 16% and has to get by on a mere $840,000.

The third year? Well, he has a rough year; his players’ graduation rate goes down to 62%. Ouch, Coach – that means he loses 38% of his possible pay for that year, so he gets a mere $620,000 – he might be eating Ramen noodles until he gets his graduation rates back up.

And so forth and so on. Actually, let’s keep going: his fifth year, his graduation rates are at – let’s say – 65%; not great, but he learned from his third year and did better. But OtherCollege University hires him away, after firing Coach Snee K. Weasel, but for the purposes of simplicity let’s say he signs the same five million dollar contract.

His first year factors in only half of the nongraduates, so instead of his 65% pay rate, he’s back up to 17.5%, so he takes home $825,000 his first year, because his pay is affected somewhat by his last year at the other college, but isn’t punished for the lame graduation rates of Coach Weasel.

Now, is this workable? I doubt it; honestly, any coach who could do math (i.e., probably 10% of them) would front load his contract so his poor graduation rates would take less from him. (In other words, a five million dollar contract would pay him three million up front, with $500,000 being his base pay for the other four years.)

Plus, early exits would have to factor in somehow, and – here’s the kicker – the coaches would have to buy into the idea, and care. They wouldn’t.

But wouldn’t it be nice?

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