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So, Maryland Assistant Dalonte Hill is Making $300k

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That's what the Baltimore Sun's Jeff Barker is saying, via a source. Which, in case you were wondering, is actually a couple dollars more than the entire assistant staff made during the 09/10 season.

This leads to two interesting takeaways for me. First of all, we have the very obvious contrast between assistant pay under Anderson/Turgeon and assistant pay under Yow/Gary. Because, well, it's pretty obvious that one guy making as much money as the entire staff did previously is a pretty big enhancement.

And keep in mind that I generally downplay Assistantgate. Maryland had three relatively inexperienced coaches (Ehsan, Booth, and Chuck Driesell), and the pay figures were right in line with what each of them should have been making. The question was whether that was all Maryland would offer coaches, or whether that was all they were offering these coaches. I always assumed it was the latter, but it was still bad press and not a great sign for the importance of assistants at Maryland. (Of course, some argue that sub-par assistants was the catalyst for Gary's downward spiral.)

But, uh, that's a big enough discrepancy for me to throw the rest out the window. It's pretty clear that the new administration is putting a bigger financial commitment behind both major sports than we saw in the past. This alone indicates it, and don't forget about the indoor practice facility that should be coming for the oblong ball, or the major marketing redesign, or paying Gary Crowton as much as he was making at LSU. For better or for worse, they're trying stuff.

The second thing: this is still a paycut for Hill, who was making $400k at Kansas State. And remember that a dollar in Manhattan, Ks., goes a lot farther than it does in the suburbs of DC. In fact, based on cost of living, a comparable salary in DC would actually be $630k, meaning he's making effectively half of what he used to be making.

The obvious question then, apart from all the sentimental stuff, is: why would he do it? I go back to the idea that assistants coach for experience, not money. Maryland presents a far better chance to step up to a head coaching gig at, say, Charlotte. All he needs to do is land a Nate Britt or BeeJay Anya, and suddenly he's a hot name again. Head coach is where the real money is at, after all.

In other words: don't get too used to him, assuming he has success.

Still, great news. There are some instances in which I'm against spending crazy money, particularly with Maryland's own financial troubles, but this isn't one of them. If the Hill hire works as it's supposed to, he'll be worth every penny, and then some.