Smith, Alvarez among highest-paid ADs

USA Today has collected all the available salaries and contracts for FBS athletic directors, and a few Big Ten figures rank among the nation's best-compensated leaders.

Ohio State's Gene Smith ranks No. 5 among the highest-paid athletic directors nationally with a salary of more than $1.05 million annually. Whatever you might think of Smith's handling of all the football-related scandals of the past year, there's no doubt he oversees one of the largest and most profitable athletic departments in the country.

Wisconsin's Barry Alvarez checks in right behind Smith at No. 6 at about $1.04 million a year. I doubt too many Badgers fans are complaining about that right now.

Michigan's Dave Brandon is 13th nationally with a salary of more than $700,000 a year. That can buy a whole lot of Domino's pizzas.

Here is how the Big Ten athletic directors whose salaries are known stack up against one another (Note: Since Northwestern is a private school and Penn State isn't subject to the same open-records rules, those two schools are not available). The chart included each athletic director's total pay plus the maximum amount they could earn in bonus clauses, if applicable:

1. Gene Smith, Ohio State: $1,058,546 ($250,000 in potential bonuses)

2. Barry Alvarez, Wisconsin: $1,040,800

3. Dave Brandon, Michigan: $700,454 ($165,000)

4. Mike Thomas, Illinois: $575,000 ($200,000)

5. Morgan Burke, Purdue: $505,918 ($120,000)

6. Fred Glass, Indiana: $495,746

7. Gary Barta, Iowa: $456,992 ($140,000)

8. Joel Maturi, Minnesota: $451,900 ($170,000)

9. Mark Hollis, Michigan State: $395,000 ($62,000)

10. Tom Osborne, Nebraska: $321,538