Good news for NFL coaches: Georgia breaks bank for Kirby Smart

Sport

The explosion in compensation for football coaches continues.

The university of Georgia has signed Kirby Smart to a 10-year, $112.5 million contract. That works out to $11.25 million per year.

And within a few years, it likely will look like a not-great deal.

The money keeps climbing and climbing across the board in football, both pro and college. It’s the most popular sport in America, and the ongoing spread of legalized gambling has served only to pump even more cash into the game — and into the bank accounts of those connected to it.

For NFL coaches, Smart’s deal raises the bar. Not only does it give them leverage for driving up what NFL teams will or should pay for an area of the business not subject to a salary cap, but it also gives pro coaches leverage to jump for a college job that entails more money and possibly greater security.

Smart’s deal comes at a time when he’s being criticized for recently whining about NIL money for players. (Shannon Sharpe went after Smart, aggressively.) He should instead be happy that players can only get their money indirectly from the schools. If the cash were coming from the university’s budget, there may not be enough left to pay Smart eight figures per year.