Bloomberg.com filed public-record requests with every public university in the NCAA’s Football Bowl Subdivision and learned that Florida’s Jeremy Foley is the highest-paid athletic director with $965,000 in guaranteed salary.
The second-highest paid athletic director? None other than Kansas University’s No. 1 man in the athletic department, Lew Perkins, with a $900,000 salary, Bloomberg reported.
Retiring Kansas Chancellor Robert Hemenway justified Perkins’ salary in an interview with Bloomberg.
“Athletic directors are no more important than faculty in any discipline, but they are paid proportionally more because salaries at a university reflect the outside marketplace, and American society clearly places a high value on collegiate and professional sports,” Hemenway told Bloomberg.
In an e-mail to Bloomberg, Hemenway added: “Perkins runs athletics like a business — focusing on generating revenue while being efficient and keeping costs down. In five years, he has doubled the departmental budget and translated this financial success into concrete improvements.”