CHARACTERISTICS OF SELECTED NFL SPONSORS
Dr. Donald W. Klopf
University of Hawaii
Dr. James C. McCroskey
Pennsylvania State University
The response of coaches and schools to the previously published information regarding salaries, work loads, and fees has been tremendous and most gratifying. On no other article have we received as many requests for additional information. It seems that NFL coaches are highly interested in that filthy lucre called money.
We shall try to answer each inquiry with the best information we have. Meanwhile, here is another fine article discussing salary and work load from a little different point of view than that previously taken. The article also covers areas of inquiry which we have not previously discussed in our publication.
Many of the coaches indicate that they are using this information
as a bargaining tool with their local boards of education and administrations.
We hope that they and you are successful and that this information will
be helpful in indicating weaknesses in our forensics program throughout
Most National Forensic League sponsors are interested in their counterparts in other schools. They tend to be curious about things like the salary, training, and experience of their fellow sponsors. In the Spring of 1963 a survey was conducted in order to discover certain data of this type. This is a report of the information obtained by that survey.
A questionnaire which consisted of items suggested by ten debate coaches and five administrative officers was the device used to secure the data. Twenty high school and college debate coaches pre-tested the questionnaire. Several additions and changes recommended by them were incorporated into the instrument. Then, it was mailed to the sponsors of the 195 NFL chapters which Bruno Jacob, NFL Executive Secretary, indicated were the largest chapters, i.e. those with 65 or more members and degrees on record. One hundred forty-nine (76.4%) responded.
The replies were classified according to four geographical regions--East, South, Midwest, and Farwest. Seventeen percent of the replies came from the East, 13% from the South, 43% from the Midwest, and 27% from the Farwest. This percentage distribution of replies closely approximates the geographical distribution of the original mailing.
The results of the survey are contained in the tables below. They are reported by regions in percentages rounded to the nearest percent.
Table 1 reports the distribution of respondents by approximate enrollment in their schools. Sixty-five percent of the respondents represent schools with enrollments of over 1000 students. The Farwest was the largest percent, 75% in this category; the East has the smallest, 50%.
Table 2 indicates the respondents' coaching positions. Fifty-two percent
are the "head coach," 43% the "only coach," and 4%
are "one of several coaches." Consequently, 56% (the 52% who
are "head coach" and 4% "one of several coaches") of
the sponsors have some assistance with their coaching chores, an encouraging
sign to those concerned with the additional teaching load extra-curricular
activities entail. Noteworthy, also, is the 1% of the respondents who do
not coach but nevertheless sponsor NFL chapters.
Appropriate Enrollment of Respondents' Schools
Respondents' Coaching Positions
|Area||Head Coach %||Only Coach %||One of Several %||Not A Coach %|
An examination of Table 3, the educational background of the respondents, shows a discouraging situation: only 49% of the respondents have a speech degree--17% the bachelors only, 32% the masters. The East, particularly, presents an alarming situation Only 12% of the Eastern respondents have a speech degree--4% the bachelors and 8% the masters. The competent management of an NFL program and the effective instruction of student speakers involves certain professional skills which come with the knowledge and training achieved through the completion of a speech degree.
These same skills can rarely be obtained in another manner. Perhaps
further study of NFL sponsors is necessary in order to determine more fully
the nature and extent of their speech training. On the basis of the replies
reported in Table 3, the problem of inadequate speech background appears
Highest Educational Degree of the Respondents
|Speech Masters||Other Bachelors||Other Masters**|
*Includes those with a speech bachelor's degree and a master's in another field.
**Does not include those with a speech bachelor's degree and a master's
in another field.
A compensating factor may be found in Table 4. Table 4 reports the years of coaching experience of the respondents. Fifty-four percent have under ten years of experience, 29% have between 10-20, and 17% have over 20. A certain degree of stability in the profession is suggested by the 46% of the respondents who have over ten years of experience. This percent, however, may be misleading. In this study only sponsors of the 195 largest NFL chapters were surveyed. This type of chapter may provide more stability than one of a smaller size.TABLE 4
Years of Coaching Experience of Respondents
Sponsors responding from the East and South have the least coaching experience. Sixty percent of the Eastern and 65% of the Southern replies show sponsors with less than 10 years of experience, percentages which are substantially above the other two areas.
The salary range of the respondents, reported in Table 5, shows considerable
variance between the regions, particularly between the South and the Farwest.
While 80% of the Southern respondents reported salaries below $6,000, 81%
of the farwestern respondents reported salaries above that figure--over
half of these over $8000. The national average falls between $6000 and
$7000. The Eastern report of 43% who receive salaries less than $4000 appears
unusual in comparison to the others. However, two-thirds of these respondents
indicated that they are church-affiliated teachers.
Annual Salary Range of Respondents
|Below $4000 %||$4000-$5000 %||$5000-6000 %||$6000-7000 %||$7000-8000 %||Over $8000 %|
The average number of hours per week spent in working with debate, shown
in Table 6, varied from zero, reported by one sponsor who said that he
sponsored NFL but had nothing else to do with the program, to over fifty
hours, reported by another sponsor who wrote that in addition to coaching,
he taught four classes daily. The most frequent reply here was in the "over
20 hours" category. Many respondents indicated that they received
some reduction in teaching load for this work. A nearly equal number indicated
that they did not.
Average Number of Hours Spent by Respondents per Week in Debate
|Area||0-5 %||5-10 %||10-15 %||15-20 %||Over 20 %|
An inverse correlation appears between the number of students in the program and the number of hours the respondent spends in debate work each week. That is, the more students, the less hours spent coaching. The incongruity is explained by the fact that most of the respondents who spent less than 10 hours weekly in the program also are either the head coach or one of several coaches so that the coaching load is shared with several instructors.
The final table, Table 7, reports the area and national professional
speech affiliations of the respondents. The table shows that only 32% of
the respondents hold membership in a professional speech association in
their area and only 24% hold membership in either the Speech Association
of America or the American Forensic Association. A few of the respondents
belong to both SAA and AFA, but they represent only 6% of the sponsors
surveyed. In the south 75% of the sponsors do not belong to either a state
or regional professional speech organization and 90% are not members of
either SAA or AFA. These facts perhaps suggest weaknesses in the recruiting
activities or program interests of the area and national speech organizations.
These weaknesses should be a major concern of those groups if they are
seeking to be of service to high school speech instructors.
Area and National Professional Speech Affiliation of Respondents
|State or Regional Association %||American Forensic Association %||Speech Association of America %||
No National Affiliation %
The data obtained in this survey implies that several serious situations confront those concerned with the speech profession at the high school level. The sample for this analysis comes entirely from the NFL sponsors whose program includes 65 or more members and degrees. Consequently, it may include a higher percentage of better trained, better compensated, and more stable instructors than a larger sample would indicate for the NFL as a whole, or American high schools in general.
Nevertheless, this limited data suggests these serious situations: (1) a need to increase minimum salaries if sponsor of speech programs are to enjoy any acceptable kind of family living standard--particularly in the East and South; (2) a need to increase teaching load restrictions for those who coach; (3) a need to upgrade speech instruction by hiring as coaches college graduates who have speech degrees; and (4) a need to stimulate speech professionalism by encouraging high school instructors to belong to speech associations.
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