Mailbox: Debate continues over Ryan Day's salary as Ohio State Buckeyes coach

Brian White
The Columbus Dispatch

Have more comments, questions? Reach out to me at bwhite1@dispatch.com.

Ryan Day talks with the media Sunday, December 6, 2021 as it was announced the Buckeyes would play in the Rose Bowl.

On Ryan Day's salary

Dear Brian: Michael Oser questions Ohio State paying Ryan Day $9 million, saying, "Why should a publicly supported academic institution pay that much money when students struggle to pay tuition and living expenses?"

I think it's important to note that coach Day's salary is paid through the athletic department budget, which receives no federal or state taxes, nor does it use tuition. Ohio State's athletic department is fully funded through revenue, one of only a handful in college football that can make that claim. The university may be publicly supported, but the athletic department is not. 

Pamela Mason, Princeton, N.J. 

To the editor: If Ohio State doesn’t pay (Day), another college will. Don’t lose the best college football coach in the nation because of pay. Stop posting about the differences in pay. We're not in 1980 anymore.

David Cummings

To the editor: Yeah, perception, as you indicated in your reply, cited that "equitable societal principles call for paying their coach as much or more than anyone else in the country."  What a contradiction in "principles" when that announcement occurred in the same time frame as Ohio State raised tuition rates for students. And Ohio State remains the training camp for the NFL. Grrr.

Kathleen Roberts

To the editor: It is amusing so many people are distressed about Ryan Day's annual income, but seem totally oblivious to the staggering wealth of Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Bill Gates. Their wealth dwarfs Ryan Day's. And, you can easily avoid paying Ryan Day by ignoring OSU football. But, let's see you buy a computer, or Microsoft Office software without contributing to Bill Gates.

D Gleason

Colorado Avalanche's Logan O'Connor, right, has trouble finding Minnesota Wild's Brandon Duhaime (21) during a fight in the first period of an NHL hockey game Friday, April 29, 2022, in St. Paul, Minn. Both received fighting penalties. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

On Steven Hayes

To  Brian: I worked with Steve Hayes in the county prosecutor's office in the late '70s.  He was a nice guy who had a pat answer when people would ask him about being Woody Hayes' son: "I never knew the man, he was always looking at film."

Michael Holliday, Melbourne Beach, Fla.

On college sports and money

To Mr. White: American sports and college football in particular continue in a state of upheaval. Folks we used to think of as “degenerate gamblers” are now the “gaming community” (aka your kids, neighbors, fellow parishioners) and they are welcomed with open arms by the sporting establishment.

But this expanded appetite for betting could lead to new reporting demands: on a macro level, lines, parlays and wagers can change when it’s revealed State holds a fivefold advantage over Tech in NIL funding; and on a micro level, game day programs will soon read: “Jones, OT, 6’3”, 310 lb., $275,000 (NIL).”  It’ll be up to the bettor to decide whether Jones, at $275,000, is motivated or disgruntled.

And speaking of the disruptive influence of NIL, it could lead to familiar labor tactics such as boycotts, strikes and class-action law suits. Consider: “Our sideline correspondent is reporting that linebacker Bruiser Smith is refusing to suit up for the second half unless his NIL stipend is brought into line with other top-tier defensive players.” “Federal mediators express hope that progress over revenue sharing has been made, 48 hours before kickoff, as parties strive to avert a Rose Bowl work stoppage.” And, “Suit alleges teams discriminate against low-level NIL players with excessive assignments to special teams.” 

I’ll bet we see all three before long.

Jon Armstrong, Columbus

To Jon: We're already on the way, as there was a report out of Miami that Hurricanes basketball standout Isaiah Wong threatened to enter the leave the school unless his compensation was boosted to match new teammate Nigel Pack's $800,000 NIL deal. Miami booster John Ruiz promised to find Wong an NIL raise. Seriously.

On hockey fights

To  Brian: I was surprised that you printed the factually incorrect letter whining about hockey and, further, at your failure to correct its error. There are not fights “at the drop of a hat” in hockey. Fighting is at an all-time low with only about .2 fights per game on average. Fighting is consensual and there is a code. Learn it and you might appreciate the beauty and speed of the game. 

Instead of running letters by people who complain about sports they admittedly have no interest in, and a corresponding lack of knowledge, how about giving space to fans who understand and appreciate the game?

Brent D. Rosenthal, Westerville 

To Brent: We do not discriminate here, unless the letters are unfair, vulgar or both. We welcome correspondence from of all levels of expertise.

Westerville South players celebrate their 3-2 win over Hilliard Darby to win the Div. I district final at South on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.

On baseball celebrations

To Brian: I was recently at a baseball championship game, and upon the final out being made players immediately began piling on each other to celebrate their victory. I am always concerned that someday somebody is going to be trapped at the bottom of one of those piles with a tragic ending. I sure wish people could celebrate without giving an accident a chance to happen.

Dennis Singleton, Dayton

To Dennis: True story: My son was in one of those dogpiles after winning a big high school baseball game. My worry as the celebration went on: the safety of the expensive sports sunglasses he wore in the games. I was relieved after the game, and saw it later on video, that he had casually tossed the glasses to the side of first base before heading to the pile. A proud parenting moment there, realizing I had taught him to value things that cost too much.

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