December 17, 2021 7:00am

LSU's new coach got a $100+ million contract. Some in Baton Rouge are uneasy with that.

We asked our respondents whether amount of money going to coaches bothers them. Here's what they said.

Photo of Matthew Albright
By Matthew Albright
Baton Rouge, LA Correspondent

LSU shocked the college football world by convincing football coach Brian Kelly to leave Notre Dame and come to Baton Rouge. One way they did it? Offering him a contract of more than $100 million, loaded with incentives.

Some people have argued that's worth it for one of college football's winningest coaches, and they point out the enormous cultural and economic impact LSU football has on our region. But some people are not comfortable with a coach getting that much money, worrying about what it means for the university and the sport itself.

We asked our Poll members what they thought. Here's what they said:

A majority of respondents said the size of the contract bothered them, though most of them said it bothered them "a little," not "a lot."

A narrow majority of respondents also said they thought the size of coaching contracts was bad for the sport, though almost 30% said they thought it was good for the sport.

Critics often contrast coaches' salaries with those of professors and others on the academic side. And our correspondents overwhelmingly do believe that Louisiana doesn't sufficiently support higher education — however, almost all of them don't think football is to blame for that. Defenders often point out that much of the money for the football program comes from donors to the Tiger Athletic Foundation, which is a seperate entity.

And in perhaps the least-surprising South Louisiana result, all of our respondents said they were football fans. In fact, most characterized themselves as "a major fan who pays close attention."

About Power Poll: Power Poll asks questions of the most powerful, influential people in U.S. cities. It is not a scientific survey. But because the people responding to the surveys comprise the leadership structure of their cities, the results afford a fascinating glimpse into the thoughts, opinions, and beliefs of those in a position to make change. Power Poll is distinctly nonpartisan.

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