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Friday, June 30, 2000

Woodling

Jayhawk salaries don’t match ‘Cats

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Hopscotching the Kansas University summer sports scene while wondering if Eric Chenowith will go in the first round of the 2001 NBA Draft. "

Privately, you'll hear some Kansas University head and assistant coaches complain that their Kansas State counterparts earn higher salaries.

It's certainly true in football. KU head coach Terry Allen has the lowest-paid staff in the Big 12 Conference. Heck, even Roy Williams' salary is close to the bottom in the Big 12, although that's deceptive. Williams earns so much in outside income that his salary is moot.

Why does Kansas State pay higher salaries to some of its staffers than Kansas does?

A lot of it has to do with the number of sports each school provides. Kansas State funds a Big 12-low 14 varsity sports while Kansas fields 19.

Moreover, Kansas spends a little more than $2 million to field those five sports KSU does not. That's right. For the 2000-2001 school year, Kansas is budgeting $2,049,325 for men's and women's swimming, men's tennis, softball and women's soccer -- all unfunded at K-State.

It should be noted Kansas State will initiate a varsity equestrian program in 2000-2001. Don't look for any Sunflower Dressage Showdowns, though. Last time I looked, Kansas didn't have any stables.

If you're interested, here's the budget breakdown from top to bottom on the five sports KU offers that KSU doesn't -- softball $507,240, women's swimming $473,470, women's soccer $413,970, men's swimming $403,040 and men's tennis $251,605.

Speaking of coaches' salaries, it has been the policy of KU athletics director Bob Frederick for the last five years to pay his head football and head men's and women's basketball coaches identical salaries. For the 2000-2001 school year, that figure will be $125,612.

Too much for women's coach Marian Washington, some boosters have groused. Why should Roy Williams and Marian Washington earn the same salary, they say, when the men's team fills Allen Fieldhouse and the women average only about 3,500 fans per game?

Whatever, it's not like Washington is among the highest-paid women's coaches in the country. Among Big 12 counterparts, her salary ranked No. 7 last season.

Frederick, meanwhile, remains the athletics department's highest-paid employee -- as he should be -- at $166,303 a year. Sound like a lot? Not really. Consider, for instance, that last month Missouri awarded AD Mike Alden a $32,000 raise to boost his salary to $200,000.

Alden has been at Mizzou for two years. Frederick has been the Kansas AD for more than 13 years. During that span, Frederick's average annual raise has been $7,154 a year. Frederick's salary comes from the state, not from athletics department funds.

Because of Big 12 television obligations, kickoff times for only two of Kansas University's eight conference football games this fall have been published -- the first (at Oklahoma, 2 p.m. on Sept. 30) and the last (at Iowa State, 1 p.m. on Nov. 18).

KU's league home games are against Kansas State (Oct. 7), Colorado (Oct. 21), Texas Tech (Oct. 28) and Texas (Nov. 11). No TV means a 1 p.m. start. If televised, kickoffs will be at either 11:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. or 6 p.m.

A few years ago, tackling machine Willie Pless was interested in college coaching after retirement and talked with KU coach Allen about the possibility after he quit the CFL.

Word out of Edmonton, however, is that Pless has a high-paying job as a sales rep with Sprint Canada and plans to apply for Canadian citizenship.

Pless, who made more tackles than anyone in Kansas University, Big Eight Conference and Canadian Football League history, is from Anniston, Ala.

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