Big raise shouldn't have been a big deal


Let me open by saying the one single fact I know best about being a college athletic director is that I wouldn't want the job. For a job with 'athletic' in its name, it really doesn't have much to do with athletics.

It has much more to do with raising money, figuring out budgets, managing a big department and hiring talented people. Sure, you get good seats at football games, but I think you always have to be worried about schmoozing some big donor out of a few bucks at halftime.

The only positive side to the job I've seen is that, at least at Oregon State, there doesn't appear to be a dress code.

You get to wear orange sweat suits all the time. If you can stand to do that.

That's what OSU Athletic Director Bob De Carolis is wearing whenever I see him. Which isn't very often - because I don't care about athletic directors nearly as much as I care about the results they get.

In Corvallis, the topic all week has been baseball coach Pat Casey's visit to the campus of Notre Dame. Casey, like so many misguided souls of his generation, has long been a fan of the Fighting Irish football team.

For an Irish-Catholic guy, especially the ones who can still remember Ara Parseghian, I'm sure Notre Dame is about as good as it gets.

And if the smart athletic director back there would just get that 'Touchdown Jesus' mural moved over near the Irish baseball field and morphed into a shot of Jesus waving a guy around third base, I think that vacant baseball coaching job would be irresistible.

There's nothing De Carolis could do about Casey living out a lifelong dream to be a part of the athletic department at Notre Dame. And the Beavers are fortunate because Casey a few weeks back turned down an opportunity to interview for the vacant Louisiana State job that pays enough money that the coach of the Irish left to take it.

The money has to be huge, of course, to get anyone to live in Baton Rouge, La.

But here's my thing:

When it comes down to a coach who has won a national championship - an incredible, impossible, ridiculous, crazy, dynamic, one-for-the-ages kind of national championship Casey just won - there is no way money should be an issue.

No freaking way.

Let me make this clear, only two baseball coaches in the Pac-10 made less money than Pat Casey did this season. He was paid significantly less money than OSU's volleyball coach and its women's basketball coach.

And on top of that, he's a sensational fundraiser for the university, a man who has been able to build his program with private donations he himself solicited.

And it's just way beyond stupid that an athletic director would wait until one of the best coaches in the country in his given sport is being romanced by another university before he does anything to give Casey the kind of salary he deserves.

This should have been dealt with the day after the final out of the championship game nestled into Tyler Graham's glove.

It shouldn't have taken a trip to South Bend, Ind., for De Carolis to get the message. What was he waiting for? How hard was it to figure out he needed to give Casey a new contract and do whatever he could to make him happy - including more money for recruiting and his assistant coaches?

My goodness, it can't be that hard to be an athletic director, can it?

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