Editorial: UConn pays top dollar for top talent

It’s no secret that talent costs top dollar and the University of Connecticut understands this concept well. (File photo/The Daily Campus)

It’s no secret that talent costs top dollar and the University of Connecticut understands this concept well. (File photo/The Daily Campus)

As is the case with many of the most successful and prestigious athletic teams and corporations in America, the best within each industry typically employ the best within the industry. It’s no secret that talent costs top dollar and the University of Connecticut understands this concept well.  

According to Transparency.ct.gov, the University of Connecticut and the UConn Health Center are home to the top 25 highest paid state employees of 2018. Arguably, many of these employees are well worth the investment; others, of course, not so much

The legendary coach Geno Auriemma claimed the top spot on payroll, raking in $2.7 million for his services leading perhaps the greatest program in the history of women’s college basketball. On the other side of the coin is former UConn men’s basketball head coach Kevin Ollie with a purse of $1.9 million for the year, a significantly more lucrative fiscal year than his successor, coach Dan Hurley ($799,658.64). Head football coach Randy Edsall, for his part, collected a cool $1.9 million despite presiding over one of the most unsuccessful seasons in program history.  

Arguably, with the exception of coach Auriemma, the university highly overpays for its athletic leadership considering the fact that the football and men’s basketball teams missed the postseason this year amid recent struggles to qualify for bowl games or the NCAA tournament, respectively.  

With athletics aside, however, the university invests heavily—likely a wise allocation of capital—in the Health Center. According to the report, Hanspaul Makkar, Ketan R. Bulsara, and James D. Whalen comprise the top three for the Health Center at $1.3 million each, all ahead of coach Edsall and trailing only coaches Ollie and Auriemma. In total, the UConn Health Center pays 18 of the top 25 wealthiest state earners.  

As is generally understood, folks don’t work for free. The most talented at a specific job within a specific industry are paid the most, which is acceptable, of course, contingent upon their success and performance. The UConn Health Center employs some of the best around and arguably rightfully so given their prestige. In terms of coaching, the university has struck gold with coach Auriemma and potentially with coach Hurley. As for coaches Edsall and Ollie, bad investments are inevitable, although both were successful at various points in time during their tenures at the university, with Edsall still seeking to improve.  

It’s pretty evident that the university values talent and is willing to pay handsomely for it. Hopefully, talented candidates will continue to take note and come aboard as UConn soars in the collegiate rankings.