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Coach’s Contract With Michigan Continues College Football Arms Race

Michigan introduced one of the richest college football coaches in history in Ann Arbor Tuesday, a distinction Jim Harbaugh may not hold for long. The exorbitant salaries universities pay football coaches have resulted in an arms race without end, at a cost to the structure of the sport that remains to be seen.

While all the details of Harbaugh’s contract were not immediately made public, terms released during his introductory news conference showed a seven-year pact with a base salary of $5 million, plus incentives. That’s more than double what the school paid its last coach, and it continues the escalation of coaches’ salaries, a cycle with no stopping in sight. Depending on your point of view, this is either a reflection of wanton spending in college sports or the logical byproduct of a rational market.