Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

April 6, 2013

Column: NCAA tourney coaches’ average pay $1.47 million

Odds and ends of interest

By MICKEY FURFARI
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

MORGANTOWN — Stringing together some odds and ends that may be of interest:

• Did you know that the total annual pay of each of the 64 coaches with teams in the NCAA Basketball Tournament averages $1.47 million? ... One wag suggested that perhaps we should start referring to a head football or basketball coach simply as “Mr. Millionaire.” He thought that would be appropriate — I didn’t…

All four of the head coaches whose team made it to this weekend’s Final Four at Atlanta certainly are being paid well…Rick Pitino of Louisville is receiving $5 million, Jim Boeheim of Syracuse $1.9 million, John Beilein of Michigan $1.9 million, and George Marshall of Wichita State $1.2 million …

• Like a lot of West Virginia basketball fans, if not all, I’m pulling for Coach Beilein and his Wolverines. He’s not only a great coach but a fine gentleman. He certainly did an excellent job as WVU’s head coach as Gale Catlett’s successor from 2002-03 through 2006-07. He was here five seasons and posted a record of 104-60…

Taking over the men’s program after an 8-20 season (worst in school history), Beilein performed absolute wonders. His teams enjoyed records of 14-15, 17-14, 24-11, 22-11 and 27-9…

WVU won the National Invitation Tournament championship for only the second time since 1942, the school’s first-ever NIT title. It also reached the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 under Beilein’s guidance in two NCAA appearances…

• If you’re interested in purchasing a season ticket for WVU’s seven home football games, the cost could be $365—even without a donation to the Mountaineer Athletic Club. But the ticket probably could be in the end zone.

If you wanted to buy only one ticket to the most popular home game—if available—I’m told it would cost you $80. Season ticket orders are now being accepted at WVU for the 2013 campaign…

• Some of the college/pro football “experts” continue to degrade West Virginia University’s great, graduating quarterback, Geno Smith, on radio and TV. I contend it’s a really sad, unfair attack on his ability and, most certainly, his character…

But I did hear one analyst on ESPN say during a three-man discussion that he thinks Geno Smith would be the only QB picked in the first round of the upcoming NFL draft…

• I have resorted to a Freedom of Information Act request just once in my lengthy career as a sports writer and columnist. It is a state law—or used to be—in West Virginia. 

I was under the belief that the person or organization receiving such a legitimate request has only five days to respond. And if there’s no response in five days, a possible penalty could be imposed.

But the last time I looked, WVU has yet to settle 33 FOIA requests from a local newspaper.

Why? I don’t know. I’m just asking.