Many people love watching college sports and we all know that college sports generate a lot of money for colleges. Unfortunately, what we all know, is wrong.
I was brought up in a blackbuck antelope hunting ranch, fishing, trapping family. An Outfitting is not a job for me but a lifestyle.
The reality is that very few college sports programs, including the very largest, make money for a college and most require a college to put funds into the athletic department. So what does this have to do with academics at a college?
Colleges have limited budgets and during the current financial crisis, even the wealthiest of colleges are making cuts. The more money that has to be put into the athletic budget, the less money there is for academics.
This problem, as it relates to the University of California Berkeley, is discussed in a recent Inside Higher Ed article, “Bad Time for Sports Overspending“. As the article discusses, at a time when Berkeley is suffering cuts to the economy. the athletic department is running deficits of millions of dollars a year despite the millions in loans that Berkeley administrators have given to the athletic department.
Students are not getting into classes at Berkeley and teachers are being laid off. Yet the athletic department continues to run deficits that must be covered by the University. While the article is specifically about Berkeley, the believe is that this situation is the same, or similar, at most major college athletic programs across the country.
I have no problem with college athletics or even the need to subsidize the sports programs to some extent when necessary. But when spending on athletics starts to adversely effect the quality of the academic life at a college changes need to be made.
The primary mission of attending college is to gain an education. Sports and other extra curricular activities are great to supplement that mission. However, the primary mission of educating students must take priority and if there are limits on the amount of money available, cuts should be made in athletics, not academics.
B. G. Rowe says
I am writing an abstract on college sports and what the effects are, I found your article very interesting, as I had just read an article by H. G. ” Buzz” Bissinger, Published in the New York Times on December 16, 2004.
Television has made the public is of what happens in many cases, you stated it wonderfully in the following paragraph “But when spending on athletics starts to adversely effect the quality of the academic life at a college changes need to be made”.