Amendment in California state legislature would limit coach salaries to $200K

Chip Kelly is making $6 million a year over 4 years at UCLA. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

There’s a chance that lots of college coaches in the state of California would have to take a massive pay cut. OK, the chance is probably as good as the chance of you winning the latest Powerball jackpot. But it exists.

An amendment pitched this week in the California state legislature would cap the salary at state schools for non-faculty positions at $200,000. Coaches are non-faculty positions, so that means college football and basketball coaches (among others) would be subject to the limit. Public hearings would be needed for salaries above that number.

UCLA signed coach Chip Kelly to a contract that averages $6 million a season. Justin Wilcox’s contract at Cal pays him nearly $2 million a year. $200,000 may be a lot to nearly everyone reading this post. But it’s not in the land of college coaching. And here’s why this amendment has little chance of succeeding. From the Daily Bruin:

The amendment requires a two-thirds vote in both the Assembly and the state Senate, followed by a majority vote by the public in a ballot measure in order to pass.

So not only would 66 percent of state legislators need to approve the cap, more than 50 percent of Californians would have to as well. We have our doubts it would even get to a public vote anyway. Those coaching salaries are funded largely by donations to the athletic department. Donors want to see their teams win. A salary cap against a free coaching market elsewhere would severely limit the candidates California state schools could attract. And big university donors are also probably big political donors as well. Money talks in all sorts of ways. It’s sure as hell not going to let a limit get imposed.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.