P.J. Fleck rowed his boat north from Western Michigan to Minnesota during the offseason. Fleck told Jim Rome he took “a major pay cut” to come to Minnesota.
That seems more than a tad dubious. Fleck earned more than $800,000 with Western Michigan last season. That was the top salary in the MAC. He was the only MAC coach to top the Top 80 nationally. Fleck signed a five-year deal with Minnesota worth $3.5 million per year. He more than quadrupled his salary.
Western Michigan’s athletic department gets 74.5 percent of its revenue, nearly $26 million, from outside subsidies. The prospect of Western Michigan offering a “major” pay increase above what Minnesota offered seems absurd. Even equaling Fleck’s Minnesota offer would be more than five times the next highest MAC salary. It’s impossible to see that happening unless a donor was ready to write a MASSIVE check to keep him on board.
Western Michigan could possibly have exceeded Fleck’s base salary at Minnesota, around $1 million, with an offer. Though, the $2.5 million per year in supplemental income before performance incentives is still significant.
It’s 2017. The truth is what you desire it to be. But, this seems like a tall, not quite verifiable, tale.