Market Power

Musings by an academic economist on the power of markets and the power over markets.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Why Keep a Football Coach Who Loses?

Besides being a football coaching legend and a philantropist to Penn State, PSU head football coach Joe Paterno is also "the university's most valuable fund raiser" according to this article in The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required).

Here's an excerpt from the article:

""He and I were once on a donor visit together," recalls Graham B. Spanier, the university's president, in an e-mail message. "We had rehearsed ahead of time that I would describe the project and that Joe would then ask the donor for the lead gift of $3-million, a figure our development folks had determined was the maximum we could ask for.

"When it came time to ask for the donation, Mr. Paterno spontaneously upped the ante by $2-million."My heart skipped a beat," Mr. Spanier says.

The donor, however, pledged the $5-million."

So the PSU football team isn't winning like it used to and attendance is down. But PSU's president believes that replacing Joe Pa as head coach would probably hurt university donations more than than it could help football revenues.