Regardless of the size of the burlap sack filled with cash that we'll be able to throw at a head coach, it doesn't change the fact that our assistants will still be at-will employees. This fact absolutely kills our ability to hire and retain high quality assistants. And make no mistake- assistants are the lifeblood of a program. A head coach would do better to identify and attract high quality assistants than high quality players. Because assistants do the majority of the work when it comes to identifying and recruiting talented players, teaching those players how to improve, and calling the plays that put those players in a position to be successful. It's simple math- 9 assistants versus 1 head coach.
So how do we solve that problem, other than just lobbying the hell out of the legislature to adjust the law (which the regents should be doing anyway)? Well, I've been kicking something around in my head. What if, instead of the university hiring and paying the head coach and his assistants, the head coach formed his own LLC and hired and paid his own assistants? Here's how that would work:
The head coach wouldn't be given a contract that stipulated he receive $3 million a year over 5 years (the longest possible contract a state institution can offer). The head coach's LLC would be paid, say, $12 million a year on a 5 year contract as a university contractor. Out of that pool of money, he would have to hire and sign his assistants to the contracts he sees fit. Maybe that means everybody gets a 2 year contract, or some get 3 years, some 1, some whatever. But those contracts wouldn't count against the 6 the university can offer, because they wouldn't be university employees, they'd be employees of Coach Footballguy Co. Coach Footballguy Co. would be responsible for the coaches' payroll taxes, benefits packages, 401(K) contributions, whatever. All of those costs would be incorporated into the contract with Coach Footballguy Co.
It happens all the time in both public and private institutions. I guarantee you that the state doesn't employ the janitors at the capitol building. They have a janitorial services vendor who hires and manages the janitors. If part of the contract stipulated that all employees abide by, and be accountable to, the rules and regulations of the NCAA, I wonder if that would fly with the governing bodies of the state and collegiate athletics. Anyway- just a thought. Let's all discuss it, in the comments!