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The Real March Madness
Charity Navigator (CN) is a leading watchdog of non-profit organizations providing data and analysis on over 5,000 tax-exempt charities. CN’s goal is “to advance a more efficient and responsive philanthropic marketplace, in which givers and the charities they support work in tandem to overcome our nation’s most persistent challenges.”

College basketball coaches are the focus of a recent article by CN. The group notes that “college coaches are paid by either your tax dollars (in the case of state schools) or your tax-deductible private charitable contributions (in the case of private schools).”

Based on IRS Form 990 data, Charity Navigator lists the salaries paid to twenty college basketball coaches, along with their win-loss record. Money coaches receive from shoe contracts, endorsements and other sources is not included. As CN explains, the six and seven figure salaries are “what is paid by charitable tax-exempt charitable entities, funded in large part by your donations. [Emphasis in original]

Sports will always be an important part of the college experience. The question is whether colleges have their educational priorities straight when spending charitable funds. Colleges have, or should have, multiple educational objectives including music and other performing arts, literature, history, math, the sciences, and affordable tuition. Winston believes the public interest would be better served if professors of music and mathematics receive compensation comparable to the pay of sports coaches.

See Charity Navigator article, “March Madness: College Basketball Coaches Paid by Your Donations”

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