Want to make college cheaper?

Reduce athletic departments.  I love college sports but I'm just saying....  Gregg Easterbrook follows the money.

Bowl season is nearly upon us, and college football conferences are reshuffling like mad, with bowl invites, television rights and media exposure the motives. College marketers know that in 2008 the University of Texas had $88 million in football revenue while Ohio State had $68 million (Wall Street Journal figures), and football dollars are still going up. The money rush isn't confined to the top, rather it is spread broadly across the higher-education landscape. The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, which plans to start Division I-AA participation in 2013, is asking $2,500 per personal seat license for good seats at its new field, plus a donation of up to several thousand dollars, making the true PSL price more like $5,000. That's for a Division I-AA program that doesn't even exist yet.

Despite the cash-grab in big-college athletics -- Texas, already the leader in football revenue, cut an even better deal for itself this fall by threatening to leave its conference -- nearly all universities lose money on sports. Recently the NCAA reported that only 14 Division I-A programs clear a profit, while no college or university in the United States has an athletic department that is financially self-sustaining. Nobody in Division I -- not Alabama, not Auburn, not Oklahoma, nobody -- has an athletic department that pays its own way. . . .
In an era when budget stress is causing classes to be cut and core academic missions to be scaled back, many collegiate athletic departments are the most overstaffed organizations this side of a Monty Python sketch. Because sports is viewed as sacrosanct, the athletic department can get away with having far more people than needed -- then sending the bill to average students and to taxpayers.
Ohio State lists 458 people in its athletic department. Included are the athletic director (who's also a vice president of the university), four people with the title senior associate athletic director, 12 associate athletic directors, an associate vice president, a "senior associate legal counsel for athletics" and plus a nine-person NCAA compliance office. NCAA rules are complex, to be sure, but does Ohio State really needs nine people who do nothing but push NCAA paperwork? The Ohio State NCAA compliance staff is lean and mean compared to the football staff, which includes 13 football coaches, a director of football operations, three associate directors of football operations, a "director of football performance" and three football-only trainers.
How do these numbers compare to academic departments at the school? There are 192 faculty members in Ohio State's English department, with a support staff of about 50. Thus the Ohio State athletic department has roughly twice as many people as the Ohio State English department. Sports receive more staffing than English though nearly all Ohio State students at some juncture take a course through the English department, while few participate in NCAA athletics. And sports receive more staffing than English, though there is a widespread feeling that many Americans are inadequately educated in subjects such as English, while not one single person in the entire United States believes there isn't enough emphasis on sports.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Completion