For last Saturday’s edition of “Only A Game,” I spoke with Dr. James Brock, a professor who taught British and American literature at Florida Gulf Coast University. He marveled at the fact that the basketball coach there made only about twice as much as a tenured member of the English Department.
Professor Brock need marvel no longer.
University of Southern California Athletic Director Pat Haden didn’t even wait for the tournament to end before hiring Andy Enfield away from FGCU. Perhaps he should be congratulated for at least waiting until the end of the game that knocked Coach Enfield’s team out of the tournament on Friday night.
In any case, at USC, Coach Enfield will be paid roughly a million dollars a year more than he made at Florida Gulf Coast, which, needless to say, is a great deal more than twice as much as anyone is pulling down in the English Department at either school.
“My family and I are thrilled,” Coach Enfield said of his new position.
“We certainly never expected Andy’s tenure to last only two years,” said the Director of Athletics at FGCU, Ken Kavanagh, who was perhaps not entirely thrilled. Still, he tried to put the best face on Coach Enfield’s departure. “However,” he said, “we also never dreamed we would make the Sweet Sixteen in the same time frame.”
Such is the price of success in college basketball, at least if you are a small fish inhabiting the same ocean as the impatient big fish who are always looking for the next Andy Enfield.
Perhaps it won’t matter to Florida Gulf Coast. Professor Brock didn’t think any underclassmen there would be jumping to the NBA, and Coach Enfield is said to have left behind a promising group of recruits, each of whom assumed he’d be playing for Andy Enfield. Maybe FGCU will be back in the tournament next March. Maybe they’ll be back in the Sweet Sixteen. Wouldn’t it be cool if they knocked off the revitalized USC that Andy Enfield had managed to rebuild in just a year?
It’s a neat fantasy. However, what’s more likely is that having his pocket picked by USC will teach FGCU Athletic Director Ken Kavanagh to up the ante if he wants to compete with the Big Kids on a regular basis, which is a temptation few athletic directors or university presidents can resist, once they’ve had a moment in the spotlight. That being the case, it’s unlikely Dr. Brock will be favorably comparing the salary of the men’s basketball coach to the folks teaching Chaucer or Faulkner on that seaside campus ever again.