ARBITER FILE PHOTO – The Man in the Blue Hat, head football coach Chris Petersen, is due to make $1.28 million this year -- more than the head coaches of all other sports at BSU combined.

Sports fans are talking about BSU coaches’ salaries, but not many of them know what the actual numbers are.

Recently, the State Board of Education unanimously approved a new five-year, $8 million contract for head football coach Chris Petersen. Under the contract, Petersen will make $1.28 million this year and an additional $200,000 if he is still head coach of the Broncos in February of next year.

Under his old contract, Petersen would have made $1.30 million this year and an additional $250,000 if he still holds his position in Feb. 2011.

According to Chadd Cripe of voices.idahostatesman.com when quoting athletic director Gene Bleymaier, “Pete was very understanding and cooperative” about the cut in pay.

Leon Rice replaced Greg Graham for the Boise State men’s basketball team in March of this year. His five-year contract is set for $400,000 a year. Graham was on a three-year contract with BSU, but was cut before the contract ended. Boise State must still pay Graham for the remaining year, which totals $365,200.

Although the numbers look high, the university’s football and men’s basketball teams earn more revenue than all other sports combined. Together, they pulled in just under $7.7 million, whereas all other sports amounted to a total of $51,850 for the 2010 fiscal year. Even with basketball added to the others, football still far outpaces all other sports.

And when it comes to coaches pay, Petersen makes $51,381 more than all others combined.

“I think that’s a fair compensation,” said Joaquin Lemus, a freshman with an undeclared major. “It’s fair what the head coaches for football and basketball get paid. Especially since they have been getting so much national attention in the past three to four years, hitting primetime and going to the BCS bowl games. It’s time consuming to be a head coach because they constantly need to be doing research and recruiting.”

Saul Solis, a senior majoring in computer information systems, has a different view.

“Without knowing what the exact salaries are, I think all coaches should get the same percentage their sports bring in; assuming same rank like head coach versus assistant coach and so on from sport to sport. Any additional pay after that percentage I think is fair because of the success of that sport or program,” he said.

Petersen and Rice make a small percent of their respective sports profit. Petersen made roughly 18 percent of the revenue from Bronco football in the last fiscal year; Rice made approximately 58 percent. All other head coaches made more money than their sport produced. For example, the budgeted revenue for both men’s and women’s soccer teams was $4,000. The women’s soccer team head coach, Steve Lucas, earned a salary of $49,920.

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