24 August 2010

On sports and money

Those of y'all who went to Stetson while I was there might or might not remember a column I wrote for the school paper blasting the school's administration for spending money trying to maintain D1 status for athletics when they were, at the same time, talking about how they needed to make cuts in spending everywhere else.

You might also recall an article I wrote some time later talking about a promotional scheme the same people put on that paid cash to anyone attending a certain men's basketball game.

If you recall that article, you probably remember the aftermath, in which the school's athletic director (wrongly) accused me of falsifying my story, admitted that only 12 (!) people had taken them up on their desperate scheme, and tried to have me fired from my work-study job.

Yeah, I wasn't angry or anything.

Anyways - my essential question, as to why exactly schools are spending money on athletics when they're claiming there's no money available for academics, still stands. Even moreso in the wake of this article from ESPN.

Brief excerpt:

A newly released NCAA report shows that just 14 of the 120 Football Bowl Subdivision schools made money from campus athletics in the 2009 fiscal year, down from 25 the year before.

Researchers blame the sagging economy and suggested that next year's numbers could be even worse.

The research was done by accounting professor Dan Fulks of Transylvania University, a Division III school in Lexington, Ky. It shows the median amount paid by the 120 FBS schools to support campus athletics grew in one year from about $8 million to more than $10 million.

You know how many professors' salaries ten million dollars would pay? How many students' tuitions? How many decrepit academic buildings that would repair?

I love me some sports, folks. Y'all know that. But I love learning more, especially seeing as how it's, you know, the primary reason for having universities? ...or maybe that's just me.

Anyways. Y'all have a good day. I'm off into the ether.

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