And this doesn't count the cost of velcro

Used to hang UK's championship banners.  Just in case... By Linda B. Blackford, writing in

College sports come at a cost to Kentucky taxpayers
As the frenzy over the NCAA Final Four proves, many Kentuckians love college athletics. What they might not know is that taxpayers are picking up a large part of the tab.

The state's eight public universities subsidize their sports programs with a total of almost $50 million a year from their schools' general fund budgets, which largely rely on state tax money and students' tuition and fees.

The largest subsidies, based on a percentage of the athletics budgets, go to the programs at regional universities; the two NCAA Final Four teams, the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville, have the lowest subsidy percentages.

Spending on athletics has remained strong despite nearly a decade of cutbacks in state funding, which have pushed much more of the financial burden of attending college onto students. Since 2006, state lawmakers have cut spending on public higher education by $105 million, and an additional decrease of $62 million is expected over the next two years.

With that financial picture, one state legislator thinks Kentucky universities should be looking in an obvious place to cut spending.

"The various universities and their boards need to contemplate that which is the most important challenge ahead of them, and they have to put athletics in their proper perspective," said Rep. Arnold Simpson, D-Covington, who chairs the House budget subcommittee on higher education.


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