Tressel raise not a must, but well deserved

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Ohio State's Jim Tressel got a big raise today, making him the Big Ten's highest-paid coach and putting his salary ($3.5 million in 2009) among the top 10 nationally. Let's save the debate about escalating coaching salaries for another day because the market isn't changing and college football generates more revenue than ever.

Tressel certainly deserves the salary bump after guiding Ohio State to back-to-back Big Ten titles and national championship game appearances. He has a sterling 73-16 record in seven seasons as Buckeyes coach with a national title and five BCS bowl appearances. It's laughable that both Charlie Weis and Kirk Ferentz, whose teams went a combined 9-16 last season, make more than this guy.

This is a nice gesture by Ohio State, but not a move that desperately had to be made. Unlike Weis and Ferentz, who conceivably could return to the NFL, Tressel isn't going anywhere. He's under contract in his dream job through 2013, at which point he'll be 61 years old. He has top-notch facilities, a well-respected boss (AD Gene Smith), a huge fan/alumni base and the chance to play for a national title every year. If Ohio State continues in its current direction, he should have no trouble coaching the Buckeyes as long as he'd like.

Coaching salaries are outrageous and will continue to rise, but it's nice to see a deep-pocketed athletic department not act out of panic when rewarding a coach. I think back to October 2005 when Notre Dame caved to the NFL pressure and gave Weis the most absurd contract extension in recent memory. This move comes off as a lot more rational.