LSU’s newly hired defensive coordinator Dave Aranda not only stepped up from coaching in the Big Ten to coaching in the SEC, he also earned a big raise when he agreed to leave Madison, Wisc., for Baton Rouge, La.
Aranda will reportedly make $1.3 million in each of the next three years with possible escalators each season. Aranda’s new salary was more than double the $520,000 he was making and definitely is more than Wisconsin could have offered him to stay with the Badgers.
Wisconsin’s athletic director and legendary coach Barry Alvarez said he wasn’t shocked by Aranda’s departure in a story on UWBadgers.com. He did offer an intriguing explanation as to why LSU and other SEC schools are able to outbid Wisconsin and its Big Ten adversaries for the top assistants.
“The reason they can go up higher (in the SEC) is they’re not supporting as many sports,” Alvarez told UWBadgers.com’s Andy Baggot. “It’s a difference in philosophy. The Big Ten is known for being more broad-based in its sports offerings. We are committed to supporting a broad-based athletic program. People may dismiss that, but it’s a real thing. They can sink more of their money into football.”
Alvarez isn’t too far-fetched with this assessment, either. According to Baggot, most SEC schools support 18 athletic programs, compared to 23 different teams for most Big Ten universities.
The revenues generated within the SEC also give fuel to Alvarez’s theory. Ten SEC schools were among the 28 schools that reeled in more than $100 million in athletic revenue this season and those SEC schools all fell within the top 19 athletic departments on the list, according to a report from CBSSports’ Jon Solomon.