Editorial: Riley knows a good thing, and so do we (Jan. 12)

2010-01-12T07:30:00Z Editorial: Riley knows a good thing, and so do we (Jan. 12) Corvallis Gazette Times
January 12, 2010 7:30 am

As we see it, the only downside to Mike Riley's weekend decision to sign a multiyear contract extension to remain as the head coach of the Oregon State football program is that it deprives "The Joe Beaver Show" of a couple of weeks' worth of material.

You might see it differently, of course, if you were a fan of the University of Southern California, which came up short - for the second time - in an attempt to woo Riley to Los Angeles.

Here's the background: Over the weekend, Pete Carroll, who had been the head coach at USC, bolted for a similar job with the NFL's Seattle Seahawks.

That triggered a lightning round of speculation in the world of sports media that USC - whose athletic director has long been a fan of Riley's - would once again try to lure the OSU coach to Los Angeles. There was a lot of speculation, but - as is not unusual with this type of sports story - not a whole lot of factual material. It's not out of the question, however, that contact was made between Riley and USC.

On Sunday, though, Riley and OSU Athletic Director Bob DeCarolis put an end to any speculation by announcing news of a three-year contract extension. Riley's contract now extends through 2019, and it's obvious that the goal is to make this a lifetime deal for the coach, who's now 56.

It's a classy move by both Riley and DeCarolis: Weeks of speculation about the head coach job at OSU might have been entertaining, but they wouldn't have been good for the program. Both men knew that.

They also know that one of the aces up Riley's sleeve as he goes out on the recruiting trail - where he has to constantly compete against big-money schools - is the relative stability and family feel of the Beavers' program. Why mess with that?

Terms of the contract weren't released over the weekend, but Riley's previous contract paid him $1.1 million a year, an amount which didn't even put him in the top half of Pac-10 Conference coaches. We'd be surprised if the new contract pays him much more money. (By contrast, Carroll made $4.4 million at USC.)

We know some people chafe at the amount of money college football coaches make, but let's be honest: The head football coach at a Division 1 school is responsible for the program that generates, in most cases, the vast majority of the revenue for the school's athletic department.

The story is no different at OSU. By that measure - indeed, by just about any measure - Riley's a bargain.

And it's a smart move to lock up that bargain for at least another decade.

Copyright 2015 Corvallis Gazette Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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