ATLANTA — Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey said Sunday he is well aware of escalating salaries of football coaches in his league, such as the new $2.5 million per year contract for LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda.
“Dave remaining at LSU obviously captured a lot of attention,” Sankey said.
While he believes there is a ceiling for coaching salaries somewhere, he doesn’t know what or when that will be.
“I think there is an end,” Sankey said, speaking to reporters after the CFP Championship Game coaches news conference at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel. “Where is the end? Resources and leadership drives that.”
Aranda’s new deal, which guarantees him $10 million over four years, makes him the first college football assistant to make more than $2 million per season. It comes in the wake of SEC rival Texas A&M making not one but two strong attempts to pull Aranda away from LSU and be part of Jimbo Fisher’s new coaching staff there.
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Fisher got $75 million guaranteed for 10 years to leave Florida State for Texas A&M. Auburn coach Gus Malzahn recently signed a new deal for $7 million per season and Alabama's Nick Saban, whose team faces Georgia for the national title Monday night, is due to make $11 million this season with incentives.
Sankey indicated there really isn’t anything he or the SEC can do about preventing its schools from going after each others coaches.
“The reality is people can go make job inquiries of each other without limitations,” he said. “Those realities combine with resources to inform the decision making on campuses.”
ATLANTA — Dear college sports world,