Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Post - Athens, OH
The independent newspaper covering campus and community since 1911.
The Post

Life’s a Beach: NCAA personnel limit change allows for liveable wages

It's no secret that there's a coaching carousel in college sports. Coaches start as graduate assistants with one team, later become volunteer coaches with another team, then later become assistants elsewhere and so on and so forth. 

On Jan. 11, the NCAA Division I Council approved actions submitted by the Division I Transformation committee to allow Division I baseball, softball and ice hockey programs four countable coaches rather than three and a volunteer.

Up until last week, it had to be that way in order for aspiring coaches to make a liveable wage because of the NCAA personnel limits. Often, the volunteer coaches were paid through means such as camp revenue and fundraising.

The fundraising aspect was not an issue for Power 5 institutions, but it could prove problematic for smaller schools that don't attract as much extra funding. Thus, every two years or so, the volunteer assistant would probably leave a smaller program for a higher-paid position elsewhere because they were working a lot for a little. 

According to The Post's 2021 Salary Guide, Ohio University had three assistant baseball coaches on the payroll, assuming one was a volunteer. They each made $58,557, $19,790.24 and $6,646.60, respectively. That same year, OU had three assistant softball coaches on the payroll. Under the same assumption, they made $48,373.53, $29,611.86 and $12,267.58, respectively. OU does not have an NCAA ice hockey program. 

Two of those coaches made less than they could as hourly minimum wage workers who worked 40 hours a week before taxes in the year 2021. Those coaches presumably were the ones with volunteer designation in the eyes of the NCAA. 

It's natural to want to climb the ladder as a budding professional, but the previous personnel rules forced coaches to do so. The rules made it difficult to have tenure as a coach for these sports without moving around often or having multiple jobs. 

The personnel changes might also allow less coaching turnover between seasons. Of those six assistant coaches that were on the 2021 payroll, only one is still at OU. The other five have pursued coaching positions elsewhere. That is not to say it was because of the pay, though. 

The coaching carousel is normal, even at the head coach level. For various reasons, there were 47 coaching changes in Division I baseball in 2023. However, those coaches weren't relying on a youth camp for their pay. 

Even though the committee vetoed adding a fifth paid coach, having a fourth is still a step in the right direction. When the rules take effect on July 1, it won't be a visible change, but it will affect teams in the long run. 

Ashley Beach is a junior studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk more about it? Let Ashley know by emailing her at 

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2016-2024 The Post, Athens OH