/ Modified jan 19, 2018 9:24 a.m.

How the UA Affords High-Dollar Contracts for Coaches

What is the main economic driver at the university?

Arizona Athletics, Arizona Stadium, Lowell-Stevens hero The outside of the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility at Arizona Stadium. (PHOTO: AZPM Staff)

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The new head football coach for the University of Arizona will make $14.5 million over the next five years. He joins head basketball coach Sean Miller as the highest-paid employees at the university, but how does the UA afford these high-dollar contracts?

It comes from ESPN and Fox TV, according to Greg Hansen, sports columnist for the Arizona Daily Star. "Without the $30 million for those media-right deals, those salaries wouldn't be possible," Hanson said.

He says the money brought in from UA men's basketball serves as the main economic driver for the university.

"They make double what anyone makes in the PAC-12 with basketball," Hansen said, "almost $22 million a year. UCLA makes $10 million a year in basketball."

He said, however, that the PAC-12 has the smallest media-rights deal of the five major college conferences. He says colleges in the Big-12 conference bring in close to $50 million from media-rights deals.

You can hear more from Greg Hansen and about the new head football coach Kevin Sumlin on the Jan. 19 episode of Arizona 360, Friday at 6:30 on PBS 6.

Follow Brandon Mejia on Twitter or contact him via email at BMejia@azpm.org.

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