I was scrolling through the Miami Herald's Sports page and a blog on FIU football by David J. Neal caught my eye. Initially I noticed it because the second half of the title of the post said "Coaching $$$ in Black & White". I didn't know if Neal was using "Black & White" metaphorically or literally; whether he was talking about the blatant nepotism on FIU's staff or if there was a pay disparity between black and white head coaches. I assumed he meant literally because he capitalized Black and White, likely referring to the skin colors. So I decided to look up their bios and compare them.
Here is the table of coaches I compared, it's most of the main assistants for the 2013 and 2014 seasons:
I couldn't find public salary info on their special teams coach from 2013 on the Florida Has a Right to Know Mr. Neal mentioned in his post so he was omitted. I also left the head coach Ron Turner off the list because his salary would've skewed the averages. The salaries were average for what info I could find over the last 2 seasons. The disclaimer with this quick analysis is that the sample size is pretty small so we can't know any conclusions for sure. But from the numbers we do have sure show an inflated salary if you are either white and/or related to the head coach or one of the coordinators, particularly if you fulfill both categories.
Here is the table of salary info by skin color. The higher numbers in each column are considered "better" so they're highlighted in green (BTW how many promotions has Excel's "Conditional Formatting" gotten people over the years? Has to be in the thousands):
It's pretty clear that while the black assistant coaches have 25% more years coaching experience (15.3 vs. 12.2), they are paid 13% less ($101,250 vs. $116,916) in salary. Also white assistant coaches get more than DOUBLE ($20,046 vs. $9,076) the salary per year of coaching experience and make 1.7 times ($29,537 vs. $17,444) in salary per year of college coaching experience. Those facts are pretty hard to ignore. So what I assumed Mr. Neal was referring to, that white assistant coaches at FIU under Ron Turner make more than black assistant coaches, does indeed look to be true.
Here are some really fancy pictures in case you prefer that medium:
Ron Turner's brief but rocky tenure as FIU head football coach has also been controversial in that some people accuse them of favoring hiring direct relatives for assistant jobs and paying them more than people that aren't related to the top coaches. Both Ron Turner and his offensive coordinator Steve Shankweiler have sons that are prominent assistant coaches. And both of these sons share something in common when you break down their salaries as well.
Here is a table showing the same numbers as before, but broken down by if when you were a direct relative (in this case a son) hired as an assistant coach at FIU:
Again, it's pretty clear that there is some favoritism going on here. If you were hired on as an assistant coach and you were NOT a direct relative, even though you had 3 times the coaching experience (12 vs. 4), you were expected to make only 8% more than if you were a relative ($107,722 vs. $99,500). Even worse, if you were a direct relative, you make 2.7 times the salary per year of coaching experience ($34,166 vs. $12,595) and make 3.7 times the salary per year of college coaching experience ($62,100 vs. $16,779). Insane! How is this allowed to happen?
Again, here are those numbers in graphical form:
Something is fishy at FIU, that's for sure.
//Edited to fix wording