That partly explains why the popular, winning, head coach is being bounced at West Virginia University.
Stewart ($950,000 salary) will be succeeded one year hence by Dana Holgorsen (eventually $1.4 million), as decreed by Athletic Director Oliver Luck (paid a mere $400,000).
Although Stewart’s three-year win-loss record was a handsome 27-11, Luck complained that season ticket sales are down, and attendance at Mountaineer Field dropped twice below 50,000.
‘‘At the end of the day, results matter,’’ Luck recently explained. ‘‘... and there was also a financial component to this.’’
In other words, Stewart didn’t generate enough profit. He didn’t rouse enough fans to buy $325 season tickets or $50 individual game tickets, apparently.
Worse, big-money, football-loving, WVU donors are tepid about Stewart, one sports commentator wrote. ‘‘When it comes down to it, it’s about the almighty dollar, and if getting a new coach will keep the money coming in and the donors happy, then that is what the Athletic Department and Oliver Luck will have to do.’’
Presumably, Luck and WVU chiefs hope that Holgorsen will spawn more excitement and rah-rah spirit, drawing bigger cash crowds and cash gifts.
We hope this strategy succeeds. But it’s sad that a winning coach such as Stewart, well-liked by fans, must be replaced for profits.