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Salary of an Ivy League Athletic Director

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Every college and university with a sports program has an athletic director, including the eight Ivy League schools. Many decisions must go through the director, such as hiring coaches, recruiting players and budgeting decisions for the department. In a Bloomberg article, University of Florida president Bernard Machen states that with the popularity and profitability of many college sports, some people view athletic directors as chief executives, as opposed to department leaders who are in charge of hiring coaches. For their services, athletic directors are adequately compensated; some say athletic directors are overcompensated.

The Ivy League

The Ivy League consists of eight schools -- Harvard University, Brown University, Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth University, Cornell University, Princeton University and Yale University. These schools are associated with academic excellence, high ratings, wealth, expensive tuition and difficult entrance. Students and staff at Ivy League schools are well-respected within the academic community.

Ivy League Sports Divisions

Competitive sports, such as baseball, football, basketball and hockey, are offered at Ivy League schools, but the sports programs at these schools are slightly different than other NCAA schools. The Ivy League is within its own conference for some sports and for other sports, some Ivy League schools are members of other sports conferences. For example, some Ivy League hockey teams are members of the Eastern College Athletic Conference. The Ivy League is in division I-AA for programs such as football. Unlike many other NCAA schools, the Ivy League does not offer athletic scholarships and does not participate in some of the post-season championship tournaments.

Salary Ranges for Athletic Directors

A Harvard Magazine article titled "The Professionalization of Ivy League Sports" indicates that athletic directors' salaries at American schools (including Ivy League) average $158,000 per year. Other sports publications break down athletic directors' salaries by conference and even list individual athletic director salaries. As of the 2009-2010 school year, athletic directors in the Atlantic Coast Conference averaged $480,000 per year. This salary figure includes base pay plus any additional earnings. Earnings for athletic directors at Big 10 schools averaged $500,000 each year. Big 12 schools had the highest paid athletic directors, with salaries averaging $543,000 annually, according to College Sports Business News.

Ivy League Athletic Directors

Ivy League athletic directors, including Cornell University's Andy Noel and Columbia University's Diane Murphy have declined to indicate their salaries in numerous interviews with sports publications. Given the salaries of athletic directors in other surrounding schools, an appropriate estimate is between $150,000 and $1 million annually. Salaries depend largely on the wealth of the school and the revenue generated by the athletics program.


E.M. Rawes is a professional writer specializing in business, finance, mathematical and social sciences topics. She completed her studies at the University of Maryland, where she earned her Bachelor of Science. During her time working in workforce management and as a financial analyst, she reinforced her business and financial know-how.

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