Oh, so many choices.
Let’s get target one out of the way: Steve Pederson.
Fifth-highest paid was athletic director Steve Pederson. His total compensation of $844,008 included base pay of $500,161, bonus and incentive compensation of $283,333, other reportable compensation of $10,674, retirement and other deferred compensation of $35,525 and $14,315 in non-taxable benefits.
Now due to the quirk in the state of public records (read: insane lobbying to keep as such; treatment of Temple, Lincoln, PSU and Pitt in terms of Pennsylvania open records laws), it isn’t the easiest thing to compare. Still, it is a good roughing tool thanks to the USA Today databases. The AD salary surveys has Pederson’s total compensation lower which is important. The USA Today survey is an excellent resource but it is hardly perfect.
The USA Today survey puts Pederson in the top-40. But the tax reporting suggests closer to top-20. Now before you fly off the handle, please keep in mind that if the differential between what the USA Today survey found for Pederson versus what Pitt ultimately reported then it is safe to assume that there are some more discrepancies in the list. That said, we can safely assume his pay rate is somewhere in the top-30 for ADs.
I don’t have a particularly strong feeling with regards to Pederson. I’m not a big fan, but when put strictly in context of his performance post-Nebraska, I don’t particularly hate. Sorry I’m so mushy-middle but that’s where I am. That said, seeing where his compensation lands him nationally has to make even the biggest Pederson supporter say, WTF? I guess it helps to have that relationship with Chancellor Nordenberg.
The next issue is the headliner of the article, Jamie Dixon.
The 34 percent raise pushed Mr. Dixon’s total earnings above $2.4 million and is reflected in the latest federal IRS form 990 filed by the university. The document generally covers the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012, though pay information listed on it is for calendar year 2011 and is the most current available, officials said.
Mr. Dixon’s total compensation was listed on the 990 as $2,445,682. It included base pay of $1,350,020, bonus and incentive compensation of $925,862, other reportable compensation of $25,260, retirement and other deferred compensation of $129,400 and non-taxable benefits of $15,140.
His earnings the previous year totaled just over $1.8 million.
Now the bonus and incentive compensation is a huge this time around. Suggesting that Dixon hit some particular benchmarks — presumably in terms years of service and wins that pushed it higher. Again, while the USA Today database is very informative — broadly — it is not detailed accuracy and shouldn’t be treated as such. But no matter how you slice it, Jamie Dixon is among the top-20 coaches in terms of compensation.
This should not be surprising. Both in terms of accomplishments and the interest each year. The pursuit of Dixon from other schools has been a nearly annual event. It has driven his salary up as the interest has continued. You can question the value, be pissed at the system in place in college sports with coaching contracts. But I’m not going to fault Dixon and his agent for using the system to their benefit.
Also worth noting, that according to the USA Today database, Sean Miller took in over $2.5 million that same year. His base compensation listed at $2.1 million. A less than subtle reminder that it would take a lot of money to get Miller to leave Arizona.
One final thing.
The second-highest earner at Pitt last year was former head football coach Todd Graham at $1,982,793. His total compensation included base pay of $1,010,120, bonus and incentive compensation of $916,399, other reportable compensation of $18,619, retirement and other deferred compensation of $27,973 and non-taxable benefits of $9,682.
Aaaannnddd… turning once again to the USA Today databases.
Gee, um I vaguely recall a certain Fraud claiming he didn’t take any increase in pay to leave Pitt for his latest dream job. Oh, I know. Stunning that there is evidence of yet another lie.