Time for salaries to come down

By Karl Terry: FNM columnist

Will our ailing economy finally bring salary figures back into reality?

With regular folks hit hard by the current downturn the outcry over CEO salaries has turned pretty ugly. Automaker CEOs got the message pretty quickly after each of the Big Three hopped individual private jets to Washington in order to beg for a handout a few months ago.

Other corporate bigwigs on the public dole have recently had to cancel fancy annual retreats after the collective public began looking down our noses at them. There have been layoffs and pay freezes for lots of common workers but I’m not so sure CEO pay has taken the hit it needs to experience to bring things back in line.

I had hoped Terrell Owens would be a trendsetter for professional sports salaries coming back to earth after the Dallas Cowboys released him recently because he was too much trouble and had too big a salary. Alas, fans in Buffalo are welcoming the wide receiver to the Bills organization with a $6.5 million one-year contract.

I realize football careers don’t last long and an injury can bring them to a halt prematurely but the numbers seem a little insane.

Staying with football for a minute, take for instance the Cowboys. According to a USA Today online database of pro sports salaries, Dallas paid out $146.4 million in salaries to its 53-person roster.