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Oklahoma’s head coach now makes slightly more money than his QB does

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Murray’s signing bonus is hefty, but Riley’s run to the Playoff got rewarded.

NCAA Football: Oklahoma Spring Game Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Entering the MLB Draft, the question was whether Oklahoma quarterback/outfielder would eventually choose baseball over football. He was projected in the first round, meaning a signing bonus right around seven figures, quite possibly more than a 5’11 QB could get out of an entire pro football career.

And then he went No. 9 overall to Oakland, which would work out to a signing bonus of about $4.7 million if all went smoothly. Baseball is suddenly looking tremendous.

Murray says he plans to play QB for OU this year regardless. If it were possible to bet on his next move after that, you’d have to lay money on the diamond.

Either way, he wouldn’t necessarily have to give up all that cash in order to keep playing for the Sooners. See 2010 Clemson QB Kyle Parker, who signed a $1.3M deal with the Rockies before football season began, a nice deal for the 26th pick.

A player can make money in one sport while remaining eligible in another; Brandon Weeden springs to mind. LeBron James couldn’t go play basketball at Ohio State, but he could enroll to play football. Here’s the NCAA rule:

A professional athlete in one sport may represent a member institution in a different sport and may receive institutional financial assistance in the second sport.

So we were almost looking at Oklahoma’s QB making something like $4.7 million this year while his head coach/quarterbacks coach Lincoln Riley makes around $3.1 million. Then Riley got a raise to $4.7 million per year. The optics are hilarious, but the move is also in line with the fact that Riley made the Playoff in his first season at the helm. It’s common practice to reward a coach with a hefty payday after initial success.

A single star player making more than a head coach is pretty common in the pros, but almost literally unheard of at the college level, no matter how hard your school’s bagmen are working. (Dabo Swinney was making more than Parker at Clemson in 2010, too.)

Amateurism!

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