|ESPN.com: College Basketball Nation||[Print without images]|
By any normal business metric, the top-paid college basketball coaches in the NCAA are the most overpaid leaders in the U.S. Take Kentucky's John Calipari, No. 1 on our pay list. He parlayed a run at the national title with the University of Memphis Wildcats into an eight-year, $32 million deal. It's good money, sure, but it wouldn't be out of place on the trading floor of any top-tier Wall Street firm or in the executive suite of hundreds of multinational businesses.
But measured against the revenue Calipari generates, his take-home looks outsized. Calipari (who left his two prior college programs--Massachusetts and Memphis--in hot water with the NCAA for alleged violations) pulls down 10% or so of the $35 million to $40 million that his program generates for the university (the entire athletic department generates $72 million a year, the school says). The corporate equivalent for Calipari's pay package would be Microsoft ( MSFT - news - people ) handing Steve Ballmer $6 billion a year. The average NBA coach, who works twice as many games as his college counterpart, makes $4 million a year, about 3.5% of an average club's revenue.