Monday, February 25, 2008

Playing the Gadfly

One of the things I like to do is poke holes in people's arguments by using hard cold facts... in other words, slapping them upside the ol haid with them!

Case in point... on the Argus Leader boards, a woman (I'm assuming) is criticizing schools for putting too much emphasis on sports and "Paying coaches too much". Well, I was a coach for a while in another life and I was a little upset by her blanket statement. So I posted this little response...

You know, Buffy, you're right... there's too much emphasis on sports and there's too much money going into sports!

Now, let's break down the numbers... An average high school basketball coach will get a coaching stipend of around $2000 for the season. Some make more, others less, but 2-grand is a good middle figure.

You need at least 10 days of practice before your first game. So figure a minimum of four hours a day for prep work (taping ankles, setting up equipment) as well as a practice. You're looking at a bare bones minimum of 40 hours work before the season starts. Most coaches like the two-a-days so they can get their guys conditioned so you could even add more to that.

Now we get into the season. According to the South Dakota High School Activities Association, the typical basketball season from start to finish is 15 weeks. Take 3 practices a week at 4 hours total (prep and actual practice time) and two games (including travel time, since some coaches are also bus drivers) and you're looking at a bare bones minimum of 22 hours a week.

So we take the pre-season hours, plus the season hours and a coach will total a minimum of 370 hours during the season. Take that by that $2,000 stipend I mentioned earlier and you're looking at compensation of around $5.40 an hour. Last time I checked, minimum wage was set at $5.85 an hour. Of course for some folks, that's too much money to be making!

And I'm leaving out a lot of extra stuff... like videotape research that the coach will do at home on his or her own personal time... Washing team uniforms... going out of town to scout opponent's games. Attending rules meetings, continuous training and coaching clinics and re-certification (most of which is paid out of the coach's own pocket). So tack on another hundred hours and you're looking at $4.25 an hour... no tips either!

So let's see... pre-seson work, regular-season work, dealing with know-it-all fans that think they know everything about basketball because their YMCA 10-year old youth team placed 3rd at Tri-State 20 years ago.. Oh, and I nearly forgot... they also have a full teaching load on top of that, too !

You're right Buffy. These coaches make too much money.

Sometimes I'm just too damn good! LOL

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