College sports: Misplaced priorities
A new report that shows public NCAA Division I schools spend three to six times more on each of their athletes than on educating each of their students removes any doubt that their priorities are horribly reversed.
The American Institutes of Research's Delta Cost Project also found that such schools' per-capita-athletic spending rose at least twice as fast as their academic spending between 2005 and 2010, The New York Times reports. And the more big time the sports, the more backward the priorities were.
The median 2010 spending by what's known as Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools was $92,000 per athlete, less than $14,000 per full-time student. In the top-tier “power conferences” — Southeastern, Big 12, Pac-10, Atlantic Coast, Big Ten and Big East — that per-athlete spending exceeded $100,000, with athletics getting at least six times more per capita than academics.
And if sports really were a “profit center” paying for other things — a common rationalization — student fees wouldn't have accounted for 7.6 percent of athletic budgets at FBS schools, student fees and “institution and state support” for 70 percent at other Division I schools.
An American Council on Education official says these backward priorities are unsustainable but persist because college presidents find far less support for reining in athletic spending than for perpetuating their “financial arms race.”
What a bitter lesson this report teaches students and taxpayers — and what a need there is for remedial courses of action.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- McCaffery’s suspension: Castille’s concurrence
- For U.S. House in Ohio & West Virginia: Bill Johnson and David McKinley
- U.N. Watch: Gun-grabbers unite!
- For the Pennsylvania House: Ortitay, Krieger and Logan
- The Paycheck Fairness Act: It’s not needed
- Early voting: Hardly healthy
- Alle-Kiski Laurels & Lances
- Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances
- Connellsville Area’s basketball coach conundrum
- Greensburg Laurels & Lances
- Philly’s schools: The real injustice