San Diego State University's budget is a drop in the bucket compared to the total amount of money that the state of California has to come up with on an annual basis, but the way they spend their money helps illustrate why the state is having such heavy financial woes these days.
The school is paying a consultant $125 an hour to try and come up with ways to get former football coach Chuck Long to agree to a settlement that gets them out from under a $715,900 annual committment in both 2009 and 2010. Long went 9-27 in three years on the Aztecs sidelines, and the school must have thought he'd do anything to get away from such an awful record. Alas, it seems that Long did a better job of reading the fine print in his contract than the school's brass.
His contract is unusual in that it contains a clause saying he is entitled to no further compensation once he lands a new job. In effect, this creates an incentive for Long to stay at SDSU because no other likely job would pay him nearly as much. ... Athletic Director Jeff Schemmel previously argued that Long's contract was better for SDSU “because we don't have any obligation to pay the difference.”
The problem with that reasoning, of course, is that it presupposes Long's desire to have an actual job. Long shocked the school by realizing that only an absolute fool would take a job that paid him anything up to and including $715,899.99 a year, especially when they could hang out in the balmy climes of San Diego while doing "projects and analysis." First piece of analysis: San Diego State is willing to pay a lot of money for mediocre results.
So let's see, thats $1,431,800 for Long, whatever tab the consultant runs up while failing to convince Long to leave money on the table and the salary for a new football coach. That kind of accounting makes you shudder to think of what's being taught in the school's classrooms.
As Matt Hinton of Dr. Saturday points out, Long's work here is reminiscent of the great George Costanza's war with Play Now! after the company discovered he wasn't actually handicapped. It would be great if Long called Schemmel's secretary every day to remind her that he's in his office, although one imagines he's a bit too busy trying to invent a bladder system to solve the problem of oil spills.