Heading into 2018, UConn fans anticipated at least some tangible improvement from their lowly football team. Based upon its 1-11 win-loss record, however, it’s safe to say that UConn Football struggled mightily yet again. On a surface level, the achievement-based stipends that head coach Randy Edsall, offensive coordinator John Dunn and former defensive coordinator Billy Crocker received at season’s end provide a more flattering account of this uninspiring campaign. Yet upon closer inspection, said milestones were insignificant and/or met ludicrously, calling into question the merits of UConn Athletics’s financial distribution.
According to university documents, “the trio is collecting a combined $84,000 in bonuses connected to the team’s on-field performance.” For example, Edsall and Dunn received monetary compensation for each game in which UConn scored first. Although such a fast start should only be encouraged, it does not necessarily serve as a strong indicator for the team’s success throughout each game’s remainder (after all, the team lost five of six games in which it scored before its opponent did). Other game-by-game achievements, like halftime leads and higher sack totals, for which the coaches earned financial stipulations proved largely meaningless also.
In a particularly questionable display, “a 62-7 loss to Boise State resulted in $2,000 for Edsall and $1,000 for Crocker because UConn had better red-zone scoring efficiency than the Broncos did. If one were to consider solely the percentages, then yes, UConn’s 100 percent red-zone efficiency was indeed superior to Boise State’s 80 percent. However, this statistic is highly misleading because Boise State had far more red-zone opportunities and won the game in a laugher (although to be fair, scoring even just once inside the red-zone during a given game is quite a gargantuan feat for UConn Football). In other wonderfully absurd news, “Edsall’s total [of $56,000] is greater than the amounts some schools paid their head coaches as bonuses for bowl appearances,” and “at least one bonus was achieved in 9 of the Huskies’ 12 games, including a 49-7 loss to Cincinnati and a 57-7 loss to Temple.”
Ultimately, UConn Football failed to accomplish much of note in 2018 (in fact, the team met none of its season goals and its defensive coordinator was dismissed on account of record-setting ineptitude). The on-field product provided enough embarrassment for fans and other spectators, so let’s get a grip and stop fumbling the meritocracy of financial bonuses for UConn’s athletic staff.