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Americans cheer on many members of the vilified 1%
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The highest paid state “employee” in California isn’t Jerry Brown.

The governor makes $173,987 per year.

It’s a paltry sum compared to what Cal Berkeley head football coach Jeff Tedford makes at $2.3 million per year.

Meyer isn’t by far the highest compensation public university head football coach in America by far.

Ohio State’s Urban Meyer is collecting $4 million a year plus $2.4 million in retention bonuses over the course of his six-year contract. That doesn’t count incentives such as winning conference or national football titles that would add up to $1 million per year to his compensation. Then there’s Texas’ Mack Brown at $5,192,500, Alabama’s Nick Saban at $4,683,333, Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops at $4,075,000, Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz at $3,875,000, Oregon’s Chip Kelly at $2,800,000, and Washington State’s Mike Leach at $2,250,000 to name a few.

Penn State’s Joe Paterno pocketed $568,000 a year. Before you start fretting about poor Joe, his annual state pension will exceed $500,000 per year.

It’s extremely rich that many Americans openly scorn - and in many instances for good reason - the compensation of CEOs in publicly-traded corporations.

Occupy Wall Street folks like to point out how the pay gap has widened between the grunt workers and the executive suites of public corporations. It pales compared to the gap between Tedford and a walk-on at Cal Berkeley. Essentially that football player is “working” for free to provide Tedford with wins that fatten his pocketbook.

America’s major public college head football coaches are part of the vilified 1 percent yet a good many people seem to worship them. And that’s after they have had ethical and moral lapses such as violating NCAA rules or protecting their inner circle when they are accused of crimes and severe moral lapses.

The obscene salaries of public college football coaches are justified - according to their backers - due to the TV money and donations that roll in from football boosters.

Here’s a reality check. The taxpayers not only built the universities but they pick up the lion’s share of operating and staffing costs. Without that public financial commitment there would be no university and nofootball program.

Instead of being portrayed as programs that enhance donations to colleges they should be framed for exactly what they are - parasites feeding off the foundation put in place - and continuing to be supported - by taxpayers.

Argue all you want about such college football programs being “free-standing” especially when it comes to composition packages for coaches, but without the university there would be no football program.

Perhaps the Occupy Berkeley folks and all of the Cal students who have expressed outrage in TV newscasts about skyrocketing tuition might want to look at the 1 percent member on their campus and demand a little economic justice.

This column is the opinion of managing editor, Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Bulletin or Morris Newspaper Corp. of CA.  He can be contacted at or 209-249-3519.