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3 Stories: Final Four Venues, College Coach Salaries, Las Vegas Raiders

John Calipari is paid $7.4 million each year to coach the men’s basketball team at the University of Kentucky. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
John Calipari is paid $7.4 million each year to coach the men’s basketball team at the University of Kentucky. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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John Calipari is paid $7.4 million each year to coach men’s college basketball at the University of Kentucky. And Calipari is not alone when it comes to college coaches who are paid lavish salaries.

That and more, on this week's edition of "3 Stories You Should Know."

Jason Gay of the Wall Street Journal and Cindy Boren of the Washington Post joined Bill Littlefield.

1. Shrinking The Final Four Spectacle

This weekend's men's college basketball Final Four will be played in at the massive University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The venue has played host to Super Bowls and concerts, and it even has a retractable roof and grass field. Jason Gay thinks college basketball should go for a more minimalist approach when it comes to hosting the biggest games of the season.

Basketball is one of those things, almost, like, you know, seeing a concert: the smaller the room, the better and more memorable the experience. Some 80,000 people, roughly, will be showing up to watch the Final Four, Bill, and you know what about 60,000 of them will be doing? Watching it on a Jumbotron, because they can barely see the court. At a certain point, you start to diminish the experience.

2. College Coaches Seeing Dollar Signs 

Along with John Calipari, nearly 40 college basketball or football coaches are their respective state's highest paid public employee. Bill Littlefield wonders if this all adds up.

This is not a new circumstance, of course, but the Final Four gives me a good occasion to bring it up again. And here's my question: Is this phenomenon merely the rational end of the working of market forces? That is, by definition, is coach Calipari paid precisely what he is worth? Or is it flat out nuts to pay somebody $7.4 million to coach a basketball team?

3. First The Warriors, Now The Raiders Are Leaving Oakland

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green was among those to offer condolences to fans of the NFL's Oakland Raiders after it was announced Wednesday that the Raiders will be moving to Las Vegas in a few years. Green's advice? Boycott the Raiders for leaving Oakland. But, as Cindy Boren noticed, maybe Green shouldn't take such a hard stance.

He said, 'There's no way I'd attend a game for the next three years, it's ridiculous. No way I'd pay.' Unfortunately, there's one little thing that Draymond Green was forgetting. He plays for the Golden State Warriors ... who play in Oakland, and are ... yes, leaving in another few years for San Francisco, across the Bay.

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This segment aired on April 1, 2017.


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