Economy

As Florida Coach Meyer Steps Away, Fresno's Hill Takes Big Pay Cut

There's big news about big-time college football in the Sunshine State: University of Florida coach Urban Meyer says he's retiring.

Florida coach Urban Meyer.

Florida coach Urban Meyer. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Of course, as the St. Petersburg Times reminds us, "last Dec. 26, Meyer announced his resignation, citing health reasons. The next day he changed his mind and returned after a leave of absence."

So stay tuned. Still, the 46-year-old Meyer said in a statement today that "at this time in my life ... I fully grasp the sacrifices my 24/7 profession has demanded of me, and I know it is time to put my focus on my family and life away from the field." He's coached Florida to two national championships.

There's an arguably just-as-interesting story today about a college football coach in California. USA TODAY writes that among the things it turned up in its annual analysis of coaches' salaries was this:

Fresno State's Pat Hill has agreed to a three-year contract that reduces  his nearly $1 million annual salary by about one-third. Since the newspaper began tracking the coaches' salaries in 2006, this is "the first known instance of a school's current coach accepting a new contract with that kind of reduction in annual guarantee."

Why did Hill agree to it? Here's what USA TODAY reports:

" 'I didn't do it to be a hero or a martyr. I did it because it was the right thing to do in this situation,' Hill says, pointing to layoffs, furloughs and program cuts across the cash-strapped Fresno State campus. The school's projected athletics budget of $24.2 million this year is pared by almost $1.1 million from 2008-09."

Fresno State coach Pat Hill.

Fresno State coach Pat Hill. Jarrett Baker/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Jarrett Baker/Getty Images

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