The Washington Times - December 17, 2009, 08:40AM

It’s not even 9 a.m., and a few loyal readers have already contacted me about this morning’s dead-tree edition story about men’s basketball assistant pay in the ACC – notably, that Maryland languishes at the bottom among the league’s eight public schools.

The primary theme wasn’t precisely what I figured it would be – nor, to be honest, what I thought it should be.

SEE RELATED:


In general, the comments have come in along the lines of “How can the women’s assistants make more than the men’s assistants?”

First of all, it was included merely as an interesting nugget – a mention in the introductory section, then a couple paragraphs deep into the story.

And it is an interesting nugget.

But it’s also important to note that Maryland’s women’s assistants rank seventh, ninth and 15th among the ACC’s 24 public school assistants in guaranteed compensation.

All things being equal, there should probably be one assistant in the top eight, one in the middle eight and one in the bottom eight.

It nearly shakes out that way. Take away $2,000 from the No. 3 assistant, and it would be that way.

The Maryland women’s staff ranks third in the ACC in total compensation. In short, they are being paid pretty much right around what the market would suggest they are making.

Which means that isn’t the thing Maryland fans should be so flummoxed by. It’s not as if the Terps’ men’s assistants are making less because of the women’s assistants.

The real story here is the compensation for Maryland’s men’s basketball assistants has fallen far behind their peers at other ACC schools. The existence of salary freezes – which, it should be noted, do not hinder Maryland from offering much more money to a new hire if there happened to be an opening – makes it extremely difficult (if not impossible) to immediately correct the difference.

And that’s it. Plain and simple. It’s about the salaries of the men’s basketball assistants throughout the ACC. Those are the numbers truly worth fixating on – largely because they’re far and away the most relevant comparison available.

Patrick Stevens