The price of success

Sam Lyden

As with all well crafted opinions there must be a basis for which your argument is placed upon; a level of merit in which you can hope to fend off attacks from an opposition that wishes nothing more than to denounce you as inaccurate, benign or worse: irrelevant.

Let me first present you with a question: when you work hard in the classroom, you expect to be rewarded with an accurate grade, do you not?

Now, your grade may not be the same as the student who sits next to you. Nor should it be as he or she may or may not have worked as hard as you.

Now, let’s translate this to other aspects of our lives. Success = reward, that’s what many things come down to.

When you enter the “real” world, your reward is monetary compensation.

In lieu of that, would it surprise you that a six sport coach, who has produced numerous All Americans, the longest streak of NCAA National Championship qualifications and the most GLVC Championship titles, gets paid far too little?

Mike Hillyard, the head men’s and women’s cross country, indoor and outdoor track coach gets paid right around $38,000 a year, all salaries are public information and can be viewed on Indianapolis Star’s website.


He works far too hard to get paid as little as he does.

An argument is gong to be presented that men’s and women’s track and field isn’t technically a sport and so he shouldn’t be paid for them.

This is a fine argument, except when the athletic department comes running scrambling for All Sports Award points.

Who do they turn to?

Men’s and women’s track and cross country are the most consistent programs on the books.

People may say, ‘well wait, indoor and outdoor is essentially one sport.’

To that I respond with this: men’s basketball goes from August when the team begins to practice to March for the tournament.

In the most recent data, Rick Herdes, the former coach, was paid $85,000.

Why not pay a man who is as successful and coaches over the same length of time a similar wage?

The last argument that will more than likely be raised is that basketball made more money all year in revenue then all other sports combined.

This is fair and in fact accurate. There can be no surprise basketball is the “it” sport of our campus.

However, the fact that all the rest of the programs get paid relatively the same, in light of their differing success, is a gross injustice in the concepts we wish to instill.

Look, some coaches were fired in recent years for their lack of results. Mike Hillyard consistently produces and yet has seen no increase.

You may remark, ‘if he doesn’t like it he can leave.’

In my opinion, he stays because he loves his family and is dedicated to his athletes.

That is the kind of man this community should be supporting and backing. We should bring more like him in.

Of course, there is no fair and balanced measure.

The University does the best it can to give what it has.

I am sure there are pay discrepancies across the board between men and women as well as other employees on campus.

My conern is that in the Athletic Department, rewards are given to the coaches more on monetary results rather than a team’s sucess.

If you pay one of – if not the most successful sports in the program – less than say basketball, soccer or baseball because they bring in less revenue, you are no longer clearly valuing results in terms of wins/losses.