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Ohio State AD Gene Smith calls SEC coaching salaries ‘ridiculous’

Gene Smith

Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith may still be holding a grudge against the SEC after his Big 10 champion Buckeyes were snubbed by the College Football Playoff Selection Committee in favor of two SEC teams. Smith’s latest beef with the boys down South was aimed at Texas A&M and Alabama specifically.

“I don’t even put Texas A&M in our sphere because I’m considering Urban [Meyer]’s situation with three years left on his contract,” Smith said during Ohio State’s Board of Trustees’ Talent and Compensation Committee meeting Thursday as quoted by The Ohio State University student newspaper, The Lantern. “Talking with [Susan Basso, vice president of human resources] and [Joanna McGoldrick, associate vice president of total rewards], that’s not even someone that we’re comparing with because it’s so ridiculous.

“It’s the same way with Alabama and their total salary. Take it off the sheet because it doesn’t matter. Because it’s just no value to it. It’s a reactionary type of management.”

First things last.

Gene Smith incorrectly uses the word “reactionary” which is a pet peeve of mine. “Reactionary” actually means a person slow to act, conservative. The way Smith, and most people use it, is the opposite, to describe rash, knee-jerk decision making.

With that out of the way, Smith is hardly one to judge. His head football coach, Urban Meyer, was the fourth highest paid coach in the sport last year, pulling down $6.43 million. Yes, that’s much less than Nick Saban’s $11-plus million per year or the 10-year, $75 million fully-guaranteed contract Jimbo Fisher reached with Texas A&M in December, but I’ll bet you wouldn’t have to go far to find someone who thinks $6.43 million for a college football coach is “ridiculous” as well.

Ohio State’s salary pool for assistant coaches, similarly, was near the top, although not on top. The Buckeyes ranked 13th in that category according to USA Today.

“Ridiculous” is a relative term and should never be used by anyone at Ohio State to decry so-called excesses in major college sports. The Buckeyes are as responsible as anyone for the financial escalations currently being experienced across major college athletics.

RELATED: Auburn fans have reasons to be excited, and worried, about their new AD.

(You can follow Chadd Scott on Twitter @ChaddScott)

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