Stick to sports, if you want a huge paycheck from taxpayers.

ESPN kicked off the new year with a terrific, and sneakily political, report that finds a college basketball or football coach is the highest-paid public employee in 40 states.

Oregon is no exception: Dana Altman, the University of Oregon men's basketball coach, makes a $2.8 million annual salary, more than 28 times what Gov. Kate Brown makes and 47 times the median Oregon salary.

Perhaps that's not surprising. Mammoth pay for college coaches isn't new to Oregon, where former Ducks football coach Mike Bellotti rakes in half a million dollars in annual pension. But it's a reminder how lucrative college athletics are to the men with the whistles around their necks.

But here's a wrinkle: Chip Kelly, the former Oregon whiz-kid football coach, is making $3.5 million at the University of California Los Angeles. That makes him the highest-paid public employee in the state of California.

Also worth noting: in only one state, Maine, is the highest paid person on ESPN's list a woman: University of Maine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy, who makes $350,000.