We know what you were thinking last week when you heard the news that head football coach Dan Enos received a new four-year contract and salary increase.
“What? He doesn’t deserve it!”
Well, we agree with you. Sort of.
Breaking it down, Enos essentially received a 1 year extension, leaving him obligated to CMU through the 2016 season. He had three years remaining on his previous contract, having received a 1 year extension around this time last year, that would have kept him through 2015.
And here’s where we have no problem with the new deal: A 1 year extension gives him four years, enough ammo to walk into a potential recruit’s home, tell the young man and his family that he has (at least) four years remaining on his contract. It shows commitment from the university and security for the coaching staff, making it easier to attract the type of players they want.
With football (and even basketball), a four-year contract is a necessity. You can’t expect a coach to put together a good recruiting class with less than four years on their contract. It doesn’t work. Say what you want about inflated coaches’ salaries – and we agree, they are becoming ridiculous – but the length is required for success.
But, here’s the kicker with this new deal: a $35,000 pay increase. Enos was making a $250,000 base salary, but athletics director Dave Heeke saw a 7-6 season and a bowl win as reason enough to justify a raise.
Perhaps that raise would be justified following another decent, seven or eight win season in which the team showed long-term promise and racked up some quality wins.
But, since when does 13 wins over three seasons qualify as success? When did winning seven games with the weakest schedule in the nation become worthy of praise?
Sure, a win is a win, and following two consecutive 3-9 seasons, it was refreshing to see CMU take care of business and beat some weak teams. Next year, though, will tell us where Enos has the program. Losing starting quarterback Ryan Radcliff and key playmakers on both sides of the ball will test the younger players and reveal Enos’ recruiting strength.
If the team can pull together another respectable year with a bowl appearance, then the pay increase might be justified. But, right now, it looks like the athletics department is rewarding mediocrity.