A peaceful time on Goat Hill?

Published 9:07 pm Tuesday, January 14, 2014


It’s this time every four years when the thrill of a new legislative session gives way to the thrill of slop in the pig pen and nothing, even of a destructive nature, usually gets accomplished. It’s a few months when the rest of we “average citizens” can take a breather.

Montgomery State Sen. Dick Brewbaker of Montgomery concurred with that philosophy in a media statement this past week. “Traditionally, it’s hard to get legislators to focus at the start of an election cycle in Alabama every four years,” he said.

The exceptions, though, are the state general fund and education budgets which provide funding for most of state government and education. Then legislators vamoose to the campaign trails in the hinterlands of our state. About the only matters of any consequence that likely gets trough these “lame duck” sessions are the budgets. And since we are virtually a “same duck” state, there’s not likely that much will be debated, let alone passed, that would create any controversy.

This means it will be relatively peaceful time of Goat Hill for a few months.


Change in the pockets for Auburn coaches; change of coaches for Tide

First, a note: A recent pecking order for annual football coaching pay in the Southeastern Conference goes like this: LSU, $4.56 million; Alabama, $4.46 million; and Auburn at $3.49 million. Auburn coach Gus Malzohn is expected to sign his new six-year, $26.8 million contract soon and his first-year pay of $2.3 million will get a boost of over $800,000 in bonuses for achieving several milestones this past year. The other Auburn assistant coaches will earn over three million in pay during the coming year. Defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson leads the pack with a salary of $800,000 and a bonus that could reach a maximum of $240,000.

Nick Saban’s pay has been upped considerably and his bonus structure was adjusted for when college football goes to a four-team playoff system in 2014. He will receive an additional $200,000 if Alabama makes the four team-semifinal round, $300,000 for making the championship game and $400,000 for winning the playoffs but can collect just one of those amounts.

Saban’s current contract runs through the 2019 season, earning him an average of nearly $7 million annually. It was also reported that the Tide’s Kirby Smart, who was reportedly being eyed by some other schools, had his pay increased from just under a million to $1.15 million by the University of Alabama’s Board of Trustees. He will then collect $1.35 million during the final two years of his contract which will last until 2016.

Smart thus becomes college football’s highest paid defensive coordinator.

Perhaps we should consider performance-based teacher pay? Nah, the volleyball coaches would then be fighting for the same stipend.

One thing for certain, in Alabama we make up for pay in the college classroom with pay for the jock trainers. And by golly, we do it better than anybody. But hey, we had roses on the table and sugar with our coffee.


Political news of interest

Newly elected U. S. Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Montrose, took the oath of office and received committee assignments last week. Byrne, who just won the seat vacated by Rep. Jo Bonner when he resigned last August to take a lobbying position with the University of Alabama, was named to the House Armed Services Committee and the Committee on Natural Resources.

A former professional baseball player from Fayette has announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for governor. Kevin Bass, 34, was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 1998 and played in the minor leagues until an injury ended his career in 2007.


Bob Martin is editor and publisher of The Montgomery Independent. Email him at: bob@montgomeryindependent.com