Saturday, December 06, 2008


I somehow have to fit watching three college football games into the rest of the day's activities. Enjoying college sports is worse than a guilty pleasure. The players are exploited, the pious rhetoric of college administrators ("student atheletes") is embarrassing, the existence of a legalized cartel with legally sanctioned police powers (the NCAA) more than embarrasing.

Nevertheless, I will not be starting my boycott today.

Today's WSJ has a nice piece about coaches' salaries ("Who Pays the College Coach"). Even though professors complain that coaches make more than they do -- for doing something not nearly as worthy as their work -- the article reminds readers that supply and demand are involved ("With all due respect to many great teachers, it's easier to replace them than [Alabama's] Mr. Saban, Ohio State's Jim Tressel or Penn State's Joe Paternon"). And zero-sum is not the right model. The coaches' salaries do not come out of a fixed university budget; successful athletic programs bring in boatloads of new revenues.

Envy is never a good thing. It incites enough trouble.