Sunday, December 5, 2010

Blowing the whistle on the arms race in athletics

You know spending on sports is getting out of control when ESPN writers blow the whistle. Jim Caple notes that die-hard fans of college athletics seldom donate to their alma mater's academic funds and that most athletics programs don't cover their costs. (Note: While success in athletics does bring in more donations to universities, these donations flow into athletics, not academics. See Weisbrod et al., Mission and Money (Cambridge 2008).) He laments the arms race in athletics, with ever escalating salaries for coaches and what seems to be the constant building of plush new facilities. His solution:

For every dollar spent on building or remodeling an athletic facility, the department must donate the same amount to the university's academics, either for the construction of needed buildings or for tuition subsidies. Every dollar spent on a revenue coach's contract must be matched by a fund for faculty, preferably for the low-paid graduate assistants who do most of the actual teaching at large schools. For every dollar a shoe or apparel company pays the athletic department to wear its product, it must pay the academic department.

How about it, prez-elect Kaler?

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