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View Diary: Colleges pour money into administration, football, and buildings—but teaching, not so much (192 comments)

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  •  One of my pet peeves too (17+ / 0-)

    Unless sports teams - football - baseball - swimming -- whatever starts paying universities/colleges for being their farm teams --

    I say - take the whole sport teams issue out of colleges.

    And yes -- I am ready for the barrage ..

    (but unless sports are such an integral part -- why do we not have sport teams that corporations pay for us to play in - just asking)

    "Proud to proclaim: I am a Bleeding Heart Liberal"

    by sara seattle on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:07:01 PM PST

      •  I agree too.. (4+ / 0-)

        The people who like sports always claim that things like expensive football programs pay for themselves and provide revenue to the school as a whole, but they can never produce any evidence of this.  But the costs for the stadiums and coaches are out there for all to see.

        When I first started college in 1976, the total fees were 4900$ a year at a liberal arts school.   When I was back for a reunion, the fees were up over 40K$/year.  Nearly a 10-fold increase.  I can guarantee that wages for people didn't go up by that amount over the same period.  Even that school didn't make any attempt to seriously compete in any sports, but they built all kinds of buildings in the intervening years..

        •  and these are Division 3 schools--not even on the (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          IreGyre, phrogge prince, AoT

          radar of "college football."  In addition, they are pushing more "Parent Funds" that ask for even more from you than the ridiculously overinflated tuition.  

          You can't help but feel like your kid is being put on certain lists based on what you "donate" and what you don't.

          If the plutocrats begin the program, we will end it. -- Eugene Debs.

          by livjack on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:27:31 PM PST

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        •  Actually, plenty of evidence is available (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Alden, TKO333, IreGyre, phrogge prince, AoT

          proving the reverse. It's not even in dispute: football makes NO money for anyone other than a handful of the top schools. Even some schools you think of as powerhouses don't make money. NO small school does —  and football costs a lot of money.

          Jon Husted is a dick.

          by anastasia p on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:02:47 PM PST

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          •  A loss leader to somehow get alums to donate (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT

            or attract students... a losing proposition all around... it might get fancy new buildings with the billionaire's name on it or a lot of proteges and hangers-on of the patron in more and more administrative leech jobs ... and not a whole lot to assist the supposed main purpose of an institution of learning.

            Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

            by IreGyre on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 06:35:52 AM PST

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            •  Yup, it's about the alums (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              IreGyre, AoT

              Years ago I was grad student rep on the chancellor's budget advisory committee of a growing urban university whose students were primarily commuters.  

              The budget committee spent a lot of time selecting just the right sport for the university to subsidize.  The committee's specific, stated purpose for this subsidy was to maintain alumni interest and allegiance and thereby direct alumni money to the university.  

    •  I agree completely! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sara seattle, tennman, Lily O Lady

      It's the same way I feel about high school football programs as well. These institutions weren't established for students to play sports.

      •  I don't agree (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Calprof, FrankRose

        Well, I agree that these institutions weren't established FOR students to play sports. But team sports are a valuable part of education. Students learn in many different ways. High school kids who don't excel in the classroom might nevertheless be given a valuable foundation for the rest of their lives through the lessons and skills acquired in team sports.

        This is coming from a person who was not a jock and never played a team sport in school.

        •  But why at college? (5+ / 0-)

          There are many things one can learn on a sports team.  There are also many things that one can learn through an apprenticeship or by going on a family vacation.  You can learn things by hiking or by meditating.  The issue is, What kinds of learning are appropriate for an university?"  It seems to me that there is a tension between those who go to a college for classroom learning and those who go to a college to play football.  Both students and athletes would be better served if they were separate institutions.

        •  Big-time college team sports (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sara seattle, Cyndiannp, sillia

          have nada to do with teaching team work or anything like that. They AREN'T a part of education on this level — they're kind of outside it. Unfortunately, they are NOT a way for kids who don't excel in the classrooms to acquire a "valuable foundation" yada yada yada. They are offered as the way to youthful stardom, placed way above more mundane things like classwork — and star-type sports do not prepare 99% of the participants for anything they can use in really life but leaves them hanging high and dry, perhaps wishing they had spent more time TRYING to excel in at least one of their classrooms.

          Jon Husted is a dick.

          by anastasia p on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:05:41 PM PST

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        •  However -- take countries where children (0+ / 0-)

          excel - where learning is superior --

          those countries do not waste the education of the children by the focus on sports.  

          There academic progress is what is important - not who makes the football team.

          And again -- if the lessons and skills acquired by team sports where so valuable -- Do you know any corporation that have their own football team - any corporations that would pay us to play team sports.

          They of course know that it is a waste of time and way too costly.  

          "Proud to proclaim: I am a Bleeding Heart Liberal"

          by sara seattle on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:35:48 PM PST

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    •  Almost no schools make money on sports (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, atana

      And some sports are very expensive — like football. There's no excuse for a small college to have a football team. I believe the only school here in Ohio where inter-scholastic sports make money is THE Ohio State University. For the rest, it's a waste, siphoning money from academics.

      Jon Husted is a dick.

      by anastasia p on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:20:36 PM PST

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      •  not to mention (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nespolo, 417els, Cyndiannp, AoT

        football is not the greatest sport for the health of the brain - concussions. Not really what a university should be associated with, or promoting, or profiting from.

        There's room at the top they're telling you still But first you must learn how to smile as you kill If you want to be like the folks on the hill

        by taonow on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:29:34 PM PST

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    •  The farm leagues (5+ / 0-)

       I've contended for years that the NFL and NBA are using universities as their free farm leagues, and ought to be paying the universities or set up there own.

      Baseball is a different system.  If a young guy wants to go play baseball, but not go to school, they can get into the baseball minor leagues and work hard.  If they want to go to school and also play baseball, they can do both.

      But a kid who doesn't want to be in school but wants to play football or basketball for money has to go to school, whether they want to or fit in is irrelevant.  So fine, if the pro sports want to pay for the farm clubs, like baseball pays for theirs.

      "We borrow this Earth from our Grandchildren."

      by Arizona Mike on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:24:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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