A college football coach shouldn't have to buy job interview suits for his players.

By all accounts, University of Southern Mississippi football coach Todd Monken is a super-good dude.

Just look at that smile! Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images.


Not only was the guy named Conference USA Coach of the Year, he finished out the season by giving each of his players a snazzy parting gift...

Photo via Johnny Magnusson/FreeStockPhotos.biz.

...a brand-new suit.

Jason Munz in the Hattiesburg American has the scoop on Monken's generosity:

"For the second straight year, Monken also outfitted his departing seniors with suits as a gift.

'I’ve always thought, "What could we do for our departing seniors that they can take with them?"' he said. 'Something beyond their memories. And so [the suits] are really for their first [job] interview.'"

Now, when ex-Southern Miss football players show up for post-graduation job interviews, thanks to Monken, they will do so lookin' good.

This is, by all accounts, a great idea, and Monken is clearly a total mensch.

A man who cares. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images.

The money for the suits came from funds donated to the football program, and it was Monken's idea to do the good deed.

It does, however, raise a teeny tiny question.

Why do college football players need their coach to buy them suits in the first place?

College football is a lucrative business.

In the 2013-2014 season, teams in the top five conferences took in $2.8 billion in revenue — about $1.4 million of which was pure profit (though many smaller programs like Southern Miss essentially break even). And the players have a lot to do with this!

I mean, who can't do that? Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images.

In fact, all of the major NCAA sales items like tickets to games where players play, TV rights to those same games, and merchandise with players names and faces on it — things that allow coaches and school administrators to swim in a pool of money (or whatever it is they do) each week — involve the players' hard work.

Yet college football players don't see a dime of that money.

Zero. Nada. Bupkis.

But wait, what about tuition? These guys get a degree!

Yes, and that does count — for something. But frankly, not that much.

Southern Miss estimates the out-of-state cost of tuition, room, and board at just around $26,000/year. Not only is that pretty darn paltry, that money comes with the obligation of attending class — on top of what is already a full-time job.

In some cases, student-athletes don't even get to reap the benefits of an actual education, as in the case of the University of North Carolina, where administrators enrolled many players in a series of fictional classes so as to monopolize even more of their time.

The coaches and administrators are making bank while the players get squeezed.

NCAA Division 1 coaches, artist's rendering. Photo via iStock.

Mary Sue Coleman, president of the University of Michigan — home of one of the country's top football programs — earns just shy of $1 million/year in total compensation. Rodney Erickson, former president of Penn State, earned a whopping $1.5 million/year in 2013-2014.

But public university presidents may as well be heating up ramen in their two-bedroom converted studio apartments compared to the kind of money football coaches rake in each year.

In the vast majority of states, NCAA coaches are the single highest-paid public employee on the payroll.

University of Alabama coach Nick Saban makes over $7 million/year while his players make precisely $0. The generous Monken himself makes $700,000 annually.

How are these salaries even possible? Because the labor provided on the field and in practice week after week by the highly trained, expert, professional student athletes is — essentially — free.

What can be done about all this?

Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images.

College football players deserve to be compensated for the work they do and the ridiculous profits they generate. And the thing is, the players actually have a lot of leverage.

When University of Missouri football players went on strike to protest racial injustice, fears over the potential loss of revenue helped convince the university president to resign.

And while Northwestern football players' unionization drive ultimately failed (for now), it helped catalyze at least some reform in the NCAA — and the National Labor Relations Board decision was narrowly tailored enough that players at other schools may yet succeed.

Bottom line: If players continue to organize and demand their rights, good things might start to happen.

'Cause in a perfect world, college football players could afford to buy their own suits — and still have a little left over to all go in on one for the coach.

Instead of the other way around.

Get that man a jacket and some slacks! Photo by the NFL/Getty Images.

More

We all know that social media can be a cesspool of trolly negativity, but sometimes a story comes along that totally restores your faith in the whole thing. Enter the KFC proposal that started off being mocked and ended up with a swarm of support from individuals and companies who united to give the couple an experience to remember.

Facebook user Tae Spears shared the story with screenshots from Twitter, and the response has been overwhelming.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
via Twitter / ESPN

Madison Square Garden in New York City is known for having hosted some legendary performances. George Harrison's Concert for Bangladesh in '71, Billy Joel's 12 sellouts in '06, and Carmelo Anthony's 62 points in a 2014 victory against the Charlotte Bobcats, just to name a few.

But it's hard to imagine one person holding the legendary arena in the palm of their hand quite like Pete DuPré, better known as "Harmonica Pete," did on Veterans Day.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

Many of us are too young to remember the hijacking of Pan Am Flight 73 of 1986, much less any details about it. But thanks to a viral Facebook post from Misfit History, some attention is being shed on an incredible heroine who saved many American lives in the standoff.

The post reads:

Keep Reading Show less
popular
via Thomas Benjamin Wild Esq. / YouTube

Whenever life becomes too tedious or stressful, it seems that the human psyche has a release valve that turns on and we just go, "F it."

I give up. I no longer care. I got nothing left.

It's a wonderful moment when we go from being at our wits end to being on the other side of the madness. Because, after all, as Mark Manson, author of "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck" says:

You and everyone you know are going to be dead soon. And in the short amount of time between here and there, you have a limited amount of fucks to give. Very few, in fact.
Keep Reading Show less
popular