Editorial: What's Wrong With This Picture?

The State College Board just approved contract exentions and salaries for three of USM’s coaches. 


All the extentions go into the year 2012.  None of them got a raise in salary. Here’s what I and a lot of people don’t understand: 


Southern Miss men’s basketball hosted 14 home games with an average attendance of 3, 617 people, totalling 50,638.  


Men’s head basketball coach Larry Eustachy’s total annual compensation is $380,000. 


Women’s basketball hosted 18 home games with an average attendance of 1,606 peolple for a season total of less than 29,000 fans. Coach Joye Lee-McNelis takes home $143,000 a year.  


Baseball had 31 home games with an average attendance of 3,375 fans for a season total of 104, 625. 


Hattiesburg born and raised Head Baseball Coach Corky Palmer - who by the way has taken his team to six NCAA tournaments in a row for a total of seven - has won both the Conference USA regular season championship and tournament in the same year and has had to raise money and rake and scrape with the help of some dedicated fans and assistants to take the program to this level.  


In 2006 USM had the sixteenth highest average highest home attendance record of any division one school in the entire nation. And Corky Palmer and his assisants make dog food compared to these other coaches.  


It’s not that I’m one bit against what the other coaches ma, but corky has built a legacy of winning teams and excellence and a program that put’s more fans in the seats than any other athletic program at Southern except perhaps football, and he makes $107,000 a year.  


He’s been loyal, and he is where he wants to be, coaching his alma mater to glory, and he is rewarded with a fraction of what the newly signed coach at Mississippi State makes.  


It’s wrong, and I hope someone wi, no pun intend, step up to the plate and do what is right by Coach Palmer.  


Tell us, the athletic department at USM and the college board what you think. There is no fairness in this deal for Coach Palmer or his two assistants who barely get by. 


I’m Jim Cameron.


Contact Jim Cameron at jcameron@wdam.com