For Different Reasons, USC Overpays Coaches

USC released its federal tax returns today, which are awful for a couple different reasons.

Clay Helton made $4.813 million for the fiscal year July 1, 2019-June 30, 2020. Helton made $4.569 million in 2018-19.

That salary is not unreasonable for the football coach at USC. But it is a ridiculous sum for coach of Helton’s stature and ability.

The return USC gets is outrageous, especially when almost all duties are farmed out to assistant coaches these days.

Andy Enfield made $3.354 million in 2019-20. He is the third-highest paid coach in the Pac-12 behind Dana Altman (Oregon) and Mick Cronin (UCLA).

I find that salary to be outrageous given what Enfield has done in eight seasons. Some USC sycophants will point to this year’s Elite Eight appearance but that was a one-and-done accomplishment thanks largely to Evan Mobley and Isaiah Mobley.

What did Enfield do in the previous seven seasons, which is when the contract was signed? He won two NCAA Tournament games. He has never won a Pac-12 title. Never won a Pac-12 Tournament.s

He is grossly overpaid.

42 thoughts on “For Different Reasons, USC Overpays Coaches

    1. Haden. Swann.
      I love it when we play the “which one was worse?” game…..
      (I’ll always cherish some of the great football moments Haden brought us, though —particularly coming from WAY behind to bury Notre Dame in 1974)…..

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Andy may or may not be worth his salary. But whether he is or not —he doesn’t embarrass the university every time he “issues” another home video, he can explain and justify his coaching philosophy w/o sounding like a rube and he doesn’t drain his own team’s energy every time he meets with them during a timeout.
    On the other hand —Clay had his Alabama & Andy had his Gonzaga.
    Hard to imagine more humiliating losses.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. MG, one might say that Andy’s wins over Drake, Kansas, and Oregon were remarkable, and they didn’t have the gas left to deliver against Gonzaga. Sadly, Clay hasn’t delivered one game like that. It is more like Sam or Kedon pulling the game out in the last minute, often against inferior competition.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Rediculous — Helton made more in 2019-20 than he did in previous years with less success. A 4.8 million dollar salary means you must finish in the Top 6-8 in the country each and every season. I guess performance does not matter at USC any longer. Helton was not qualified for this job from day one, and what’s worse he thinks he is doing a great job finishing runner up or worse in the Pac 12 South each season. Why didn’t Carol Folt ask him to take a salary cut during the Covid-19 like all the other USC faculty, and general employees had to.

    Enfield’s is building something, and we see progress, but it has taken some time. He came here when the program was at rock bottom in the Pac 12. The expectations are now such that he must finish in the Top 3 of the Pac 12 each and every season from this point forward to justify the high salary. Yes, he was overpaid early in his tenure at SC, but he has made consistent progress in the last 3 years. Clay Helton, inherited one of the top programs in college football with the high salary, and had nothing to build, and YET HE HAS STILL FAILED EVEN MAINTAINING THE PROGRAM so there is a big difference in what Enfield has accomplished at USC vs. Helton. Andy, has raised the bar at SC as far as expectations for the basketball program. Clay Helton, has lowered the winning expectations of the football program yet he is still get paid as if he is winning national championships without performing on the field as a head coach. Clay Helton, is robbing the bank. Andy Enfield is contributing, but must continue to contribute on a consistent basis by continuing to move forward toward winning a national championship.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. …and add to Andy’s side of the ledger the fact he had to deal with all kinds of NCAA distractions….

      Liked by 1 person

    2. It’s all about the 2021-2022 season for Enfield and for Helton, tommyD.

      Enfield did a fine job in 2020-21 with all the departures and arrivals while also managing the COVID details. He has a nice nucleus for 2021, but his skills (or lack thereof) will show this coming season. I’m looking for Colibally and Goodwin to show
      if indeed USC knows how to groom the big guys….of was it just the Mobleys’ talent that
      carried 2020-1?

      Helton? The schedule is sooooo favorable to Gentleman Clay that if he goes 10-2 it must be seen as a failure. He gets two weeks to prepare for ND, as ND rebuilds after the loss of one of their most successful recent QBs. I’d fire the HC at 10-2 this year.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Larry Smith use to say the high expectations of the USC football program each year are not realistic. I believe Helton feels the same way, and has in fact lowered the expectations of the football program with his poor performance.

    USC should be paying Helton for what USC football is today rather than what it once was under McKay, Robinson, and Carroll. Heritage Hall and the Mckay should be celebrated as a place exhibiting USC’s past heritage in football and intercollegiate athletics, and NOT VIEWED AS AN ATM MACHINE.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Enfield is building the program step by step. If you think Enfield is overpaid what were we by paying that idiot Kevin ONeil, who did absolutely nothing except finish at the bottom of the Pac 12 each season.

    To me Enfield had NCAA violation handicaps, and more obstacles to overcome yet slowly but surely progress is being made. USC basketball had no winning tradition, and no consistent history of success The only obstacle Helton had had here is overcoming his true lack of qualifications to be the Head Football Coach at USC. Everyone knows it except for Bohn, Folt, and Caruso yet he is still being allowed to finish a contract that should have never been offered.

    Sometimes people are hired to build an empire, and are paid well to do that. Helton, had nothing to build just maintain the program and he has failed at that on a consistent basis while being overpaid.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. This is what makes Scottie’s blog so good. Legal question? Ask Michael G. Medical question? Bourbon. Real estate question? Pasadena. Mental health question? Bobby. The list goes on.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Sports strategy or sports history question [or good old fashioned common sense] question? 67! Satanic question? Tebow!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Are you saying Helton is overpaid? Tell me something new! Haden and Swann were the highest paid AD’s in the country and also the worst in the country.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Are you saying Helton is overpaid? Tell me something new! Haden and Swann were the highest paid AD’s in the country and also the worst in the country. Wolfman, this is not a duplicate.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. USC has the last laugh on everyone who has been contributing money especially to athletics in the last 2-4 years. Perhaps, if you all spend or donate less the salaries for all this unqualified coaches will go down, and match up better with their job performances.


  8. St Pat was certainly bozo empire builder.

    Then there’s the 5 HFBC’s in three years empire FB program!

    And, of course, SUCC shocked the world vs Alabama to Est. an empire.

    SUCC FB: The any team, anywhere, anytime FB empire.


      1. At least there WAS a time when ours was right at the top of the “Best Student Section” Category (that wonderful time ended —more like exploded—with Helton). Poor UCLA has ALWAYS been star crossed.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Deep mud, real deep.

        Let’s hear it for the ruins. From the field to the court and on into the stands, they’re futility exemplified 💪💪


        Liked by 2 people

      3. Fuck me, Pudly –that was beautiful. It sounds like something out of a Winston Churchill speech. “From the fields, to the courts, and into the stands…”

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Folks consistently under estimate Helton…….he is very very good at what he does…….his job is to kiss ass…….justify the Boy Scout camp he runs…….and keep USC out of the national headlines…….I would be shocked to learn his contract does not include serious incentives ($500,000 or more) for each year a USC player or asst coach is not caught committing a criminal act or the program is not sanctioned by the NCAA……..somewhere buried in his contract is a $5,000 bonus for winning the pac 12……..south .
    Something quite a few miss……development……the person most responsible for development of a potential NFL talent is the player……those that want it the most solicit coaches like Saban……quite a few of those that would rather eat ice cream look for a Helton. He wins more than his share exploiting the talent of kids that would rather eat ice cream. A few are strong enough and talented enough to make it anyway.
    besides…..his banker loves the guy.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. My take on the situation is that somewhere out there, there is a real coach thinking, “if they pay that clown that much I should be able to get more.”
    The problem is the thinking at the school. They are probably thinking, “once we get past this obligation, we can pay realistic prices for our coaches.”
    Either way we cannot afford Helton on anybody’s terms. The transfer portal is getting more mileage than the transporter on the starship Enterprise. (Helton’s brain was scrambled by a beaming).
    I watched video of our last game against ND. Stepp was unstoppable, he churned us close to victory (but the passing kept bouncing short) Losing running backs like Stepp and Carr is on Heltonn (extra n on purpose)

    Liked by 2 people

  11. There are more seagulls in the student section than students for football games in the Rose Bowl.
    They actually invented social distancing. 2 fans every 8 rows. When Stater Bros gave away Bruin tickets for free they were never used in the cheap seats. And there aren’t very many RVs outside so it’s not just the students. Ucla games are boring to watch for viewers in cfb if they play at home.

    Liked by 1 person

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