According to Governor Dennis Daugaard's FY 2015 Budget Book, the 32nd-highest paying state job is the head coach of men's basketball at South Dakota State University. That vital job pays $200,000, just $314 less than SDSU's VP Academic. The only other people making more than that at SDSU are the Dean of Ag/Bio and the President.

By pure market rationale, here are some jobs that the State of South Dakota values less than supervising young men dribbling and dunking:

  • Dean of the USD Law School ($194,500)
  • Head coach of SDSU women's basketball ($180,000)
  • Dean of graduate studies and research at DSU ($145,186)
  • Commissioner of economic development ($123,064... and still overpriced)
  • Deputy Attorney General ($121,798... making more than Marty because they had to add fiction writing to the job description)
  • Circuit court judges ($117,099... because facing vindictive criminals in court is easier than drilling the full-court press)
  • Professor of mechanical engineering at School of Mines ($107,004... because building better bridges and robots is only half as important as sinking a buzzer-beating three-pointer)
  • Attorney General ($103,892... o.k., given current performance, I'll agree with that prioritization)
  • Warden of the state penitentiary ($97,850... see above, on judges)
  • Warden of the state women's prison ($74,573... granted, not nearly the workload of the men's warden at the state pen, but still more bodies under supervision than on a basketball team)

My high school lit teacher said each society builds its biggest temples to its gods. Does the South Dakota budget show that we also write our biggest checks to our priests?