St. Patrick's Day: Best/worst spent green

March, 17, 2009
3/17/09
3:00
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

We continue to work the green angle on St. Patrick's Day.

Up next: money.

In this economy, we all wish we had some more. So who's spent their money well? And poorly?

WELL SPENT

Pete Carroll's salary: No football coach has ever made $4.4 million a year. No other football coach has played in seven consecutive BCS bowl games. And won six of them.

Oregon's facilities: Crack wise about sugar daddy Phil Knight's exorbitant patronage, but just about any program in the country would trade facilities with the Ducks.

Mike Riley's salary: Riley makes about $1 million a year, which ranks in the bottom third of the Pac-10. Meanwhile, the Beavers have won 28 games over the past three seasons, each of which concluded with a ranking in the Top 25. And don't even get us started on his first-rate -- and incredibly loyal -- staff.

POORLY SPENT

Washington's investment in Tyrone Willingham: The Huskies paid Willingham a guaranteed $1.47 million annually for four seasons. So he got roughly $5.88 million for 11 wins. And that doesn't include the $1 million he was paid to go away.

The Arizona State bubble: Arizona State built an $8.4 million indoor practice facility to escape the summer heat, but it lasted only a few weeks before an August storm blew the 103,500-square-foot climate-controlled bubble over, causing roughly $1 million in damage. The bubble, however, is up and running again and apparently again full of healthy refrigerated air.

Oregon's NexTurf: Oregon, wanting to be different from schools across the country -- including the hated Washington Huskies -- that were using FieldTurf in their stadiums, replaced the horrible OmniTurf surface at Autzen Stadium with NeXturf in 2001 at a cost of $1.35 million. The next year, during stadium expansion, the Ducks admitted they made a mistake and replaced the NeXturf with FieldTurf at a cost of around $900,000.

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