ADs Make Bank

    • One study found that at least 40% of Power 5 athletic directors were members of the million-dollar club last year.
    • Every athletic director made at least $500,000.

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Out of 58 Power 5 athletic directors for whom data was collected, 25 had contracts awarding at least $1 million in total 2020-21 compensation, according to a report compiled by USA Today and Syracuse’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, and analyzed by AthleticDirectorU.

In other words, at least 40% of Power 5 athletic directors were members of the million-dollar club last year.

  • Four athletic directors topped $2 million in total compensation. 
  • Seven SEC athletic directors made at least $1 million, the most of any Power 5 conference (6 Big Ten, 5 ACC, 3 Pac-12, 3 Big 12). 
  • Every AD had a contract for at least $500,000. 

The survey couldn’t provide data for four private schools: Boston College, Miami, USC, and Stanford. 

There’s one caveat to this data: While it reflects the money ADs were contracted to earn, some took pay cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Michigan AD Warde Manuel, for example, had a contract for $1.5 million. He ranks 10th among current ADs. Even though he took a 10% pay cut, he still would have made well over $1 million.

And some of the pay cuts may not have been executed completely. “As a practical matter, many of the pay cuts were implemented in a series of contract amendments which extended, and then later reduced, the original reduction period,” WME agent Robert Lattinville, who wrote the survey, told FOS.