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Fri Apr 27, 2012, 03:52 PM

Do you support athletic scholarships and college sports?

I've seen a few posters mention that they don't think athletic scholarships should be allowed. I've even seen some people argue against college sports all together. I'm just curious to hear more opinions on this issue?

I'll be honest I'm not really a fan of athletic scholarships. It sometimes seems like universities waste money on athletics that should be spent on academics. UT(Tennessee) just spent over 80 million renovating Neyland Stadium while cutting funding for academics. I think Universities should spend their money on academics not sports.

It just seems like Universities waste a lot of money on athletic scholarships that could be better spent on academic scholarships. I wouldn't be a bit surprised to find out that a lot of the student athletics get special treatment to help them stay on the team. I guess my biggest problem is that universities seem to want to give these scholarships to people who are athletes first and students second, when it should be the other way around.

Anyway, I'm sure a lot of people, likely the majority disagree with me on this, so I'm interested to hear some of your all's views.

71 replies, 7859 views

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Arrow 71 replies Author Time Post
Reply Do you support athletic scholarships and college sports? (Original post)
white_wolf Apr 2012 OP
coalition_unwilling Apr 2012 #1
white_wolf Apr 2012 #3
DocMac Apr 2012 #24
11 Bravo Apr 2012 #38
coalition_unwilling Apr 2012 #45
11 Bravo Apr 2012 #63
coalition_unwilling Apr 2012 #65
11 Bravo Apr 2012 #69
hifiguy Apr 2012 #46
CBGLuthier Apr 2012 #2
white_wolf Apr 2012 #6
calimary Apr 2012 #23
white_wolf Apr 2012 #26
calimary Apr 2012 #36
HubertHeaver Apr 2012 #59
Serenades Apr 2012 #35
Spike89 Apr 2012 #39
2ndAmForComputers Apr 2012 #4
Snake Alchemist Apr 2012 #5
white_wolf Apr 2012 #8
Snake Alchemist Apr 2012 #15
DocMac Apr 2012 #31
calimary Apr 2012 #33
CBGLuthier Apr 2012 #25
Snake Alchemist Apr 2012 #27
Hugabear Apr 2012 #7
white_wolf Apr 2012 #10
Liberal_in_LA Apr 2012 #30
dionysus Apr 2012 #34
rfranklin Apr 2012 #16
Drale Apr 2012 #28
white_wolf Apr 2012 #29
Spike89 Apr 2012 #40
Drale Apr 2012 #42
coalition_unwilling Apr 2012 #47
Lydia Leftcoast Apr 2012 #53
calimary Apr 2012 #61
HockeyMom Apr 2012 #9
kestrel91316 Apr 2012 #11
LanternWaste Apr 2012 #12
white_wolf Apr 2012 #17
LanternWaste Apr 2012 #19
Spike89 Apr 2012 #22
progressoid Apr 2012 #48
Spike89 Apr 2012 #50
progressoid Apr 2012 #60
white_wolf Apr 2012 #62
fishwax Apr 2012 #13
raouldukelives Apr 2012 #14
white_wolf Apr 2012 #20
coalition_unwilling Apr 2012 #49
LeftyMom Apr 2012 #18
Lydia Leftcoast Apr 2012 #57
LeftyMom Apr 2012 #58
Spike89 Apr 2012 #21
bvar22 Apr 2012 #32
zorahopkins Apr 2012 #37
TheKentuckian Apr 2012 #51
Lydia Leftcoast Apr 2012 #56
TheKentuckian May 2012 #70
nadinbrzezinski Apr 2012 #41
cynatnite Apr 2012 #43
madokie Apr 2012 #44
CrawlingChaos Apr 2012 #52
FarCenter Apr 2012 #54
TheManInTheMac Apr 2012 #55
Egalitarian Thug Apr 2012 #64
LiberalFighter Apr 2012 #66
AndyTiedye Apr 2012 #67
RZM Apr 2012 #68
stlsaxman May 2012 #71

Response to white_wolf (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 03:52 PM

1. Um, isn't 'athletic scholarship' an oxymoron, sort of like

 

'military intelligence' or 'genuine vinyl'?

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 03:55 PM

3. I was actually thinking of that as I typed this OP.

Most of the student athletes I've met don't seem like "scholars" at all. I wouldn't mind it so much if I felt like the people who got the money actually cared about learning, but I just feel like a lot of them are just using the school as a gateway to the pros, which is not the point of college.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #3)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 04:24 PM

24. I don't have a problem with it if

the institutions actually used all the profits to give even more scholarships or reduce tuition.

For those schools that make it to the bowl games, we are talking several millions $.

You also have alumni donations and more from the wealthy.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 05:12 PM

38. My oldest son made the Dean's List, and is batting .406 for his college baseball team.

Maybe you can explain to him why there's no such thing as a scholar/athlete.

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Response to 11 Bravo (Reply #38)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 05:48 PM

45. Wow, seems like I touched a nerve. Congrats to your son on

 

both achievements.

There are many, many stories of so-called college athletes receiving special breaks and privileges and not having to meet minimal academic standards. I actually bumped into this phenomenon myself at the U. of Wisconsin many moons ago as a junior TA, so that may have colored my view somewhat.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #45)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 10:22 PM

63. You didn't touch a nerve. You simply repeated a trite, broad-brush, falsehood; and got called on it.

Sports aren't bad, regardless of what you may read at DU.

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Response to 11 Bravo (Reply #63)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 10:44 PM

65. OH, FFS, let me tell you a little story about how the U. of Wisconsin

 

conducts itself and you'll see why there's so much animosity out there.

So it's my first year as a T.A. at UWisconsin-Madison (English) back in the mid-80s. I teach a discussion section that meets 2-3 times a week for an hour each session. Our class is graced by a young man I'll call Mr. Goalie. An ice hockey player there on full scholarship. Except 'scholar' is the last word I'd use to describe Mr. Goalie. And about mid-way through the semester, hockey season swings into full gear. So Mr. Goalie asks one of the women in the class to hand me cards from the UW Athletic Department excusing Mr. Goalie for a hockey away game. Happens probably 3-4 times during the semester. (The cards do say that Mr. Goalie will make up any work he misses. Only problem with that is that it's a DISCUSSION SECTION and you can't make up missing a discussion.) And Mr. Goalie never contacted me about making up any of the missed work.

So say what you will, it's not a broad-brush falsehood, but one anchored in MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE.

Don't bother replying as I'm putting you on Ignore. I don't care to read anything further from you on any topic.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #65)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 08:12 PM

69. I'll try and get over it.

(And if the "ignore" function somehow fails, you can always put your fingers in your ears and go "NA NA NA NA NA NA!")

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Response to 11 Bravo (Reply #38)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 05:51 PM

46. I think one is far more apt to see genuine students

participating in what are called "non-revenue" sports (those other than football and basketball) than in the big-money sports. I am sure that at some colleges and universities baseball does make some money, but it's a drop in the bucket compared to football and basketball. Many football and basketball players wouldn't be within miles of a campus if they weren't athletes.

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Response to white_wolf (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 03:53 PM

2. Nope. Not in the least.

When they started firing teachers and giving coaches raises it had gone too far. The money they throw at people who play a god damn game makes me sick.

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Response to CBGLuthier (Reply #2)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 03:57 PM

6. Seriously.

When a supposed "institution of higher learning" is paying its coaches millions of dollars a year, but doesn't have enough money to grant tenure to professors with PHDs, then there is something very wrong with that school's priorities.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #6)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 04:23 PM

23. Hard to argue with anything stated here. I saw it in the high schools here.

One of the high schools spent $250,000 on something called a "Jumbotron" for the football field. There's a HUGE emphasis on the football team and sports in general, which I guess is valuable for a boys' high school. But honest-to-God - must it be the priority that overrules all other priorities? I heard the school explained that it was strictly alumni donations. But hell, couldn't someone have found some academic priorities that needed attention more than the newly-refurbished and renovated football/track field needed a "Jumbotron"? For Pete's sake, that's maybe four or five teachers whose jobs would be fully funded and/or who wouldn't be facing layoffs. Or they could add a couple more teachers and fully computerize their classrooms also. They could more completely outfit the Arts division because not every student there is an athlete. Some are writers. Some are actors. Some are musicians. Some are painters and sculptors. Some are videographers. What about the much-lacking science labs? Or any number of things! Give the teachers bonuses or raises - even small ones. Something! Start paying some of the long-suffering volunteer staff. Oh, I forgot, those are mothers. Mothers of grads. Women. Obviously we don't have to pay them much of anything - they'll work for scraps, just for the love of the school. Nice way to cheapen the value of both their work, and themselves, 'eh? SO many other ways they could have used that money.

One postscript:

I also heard that, during installation of said "Jumbotron," work crews actually dropped it. It's up, and evidently it still works, but the picture always has flaws in it.

Sigh...

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Response to calimary (Reply #23)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 04:30 PM

26. A "jumbotron" for high school?

That's insane. That is a huge waste of money,since as you pointed out there are a lot better uses for that money. Besides, how big is the field? I've never seen a highschool football field big enough to need a "jumbotron."

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #26)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 04:48 PM

36. Yep. Seems a little extreme to me, too.

Hah - "a little"???

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #26)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 07:22 PM

59. You haven't been to Texas

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #6)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 04:48 PM

35. Well...

A lot of this implies that all colleges make millions of dollars off of all programs. Football and Men's basketball are the only money making sports. They pay for all the other ones like cross country, volleyball, soccer, all women's sports, etc. You will find that a lot of those in non revenue sports are the real definition of scholar athletes.

All colleges don't make lots of money. Texas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, LSU, Notre Dame, Florida, etc. make lots of money. Do you believe that Midwestern State makes millions of dollars from their athletic program or Abilene Christian, Oklahoma Christian, Dallas Baptist, Stephen F Austin, Sam Houston, etc.

Baseball coaches at major colleges make salaries comparable to "regular people."

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Response to CBGLuthier (Reply #2)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 05:14 PM

39. Have a problem with movie/television stars making bank

what about rock musicians or any other entertainer. There is as much connection between firing teachers and paying players/coaches as there is with any of those other areas. College athletic departments are more likely to fund teachers than take resources away. In almost every college, the athletic department is separately funded and independant financially from the academic programs.
Do I agree that our society has warped priorities? Yup, but entertainers have always made more than teachers and for the most part, the two aren't competing for the same $$$.

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Response to white_wolf (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 03:55 PM

4. No and yes, respectively.

Anybody with the means can finance the practice of sports if they wish. But I want the tuition I pay to be used for EDUCATION.

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Response to white_wolf (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 03:57 PM

5. I think schools should be schools. No sports. No frisbee club. No concerts.

 

And what are all these colorful clothes I see on campus. Drab gray uniforms will help maintain focus.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Reply #5)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 04:00 PM

8. So many strawmen, I don't know which to knock down first.

Last time I checked Universities aren't paying millions of dollars to the music teachers. Secondly, a lot of clubs don't get money from the University.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #8)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 04:06 PM

15. Who said anything about music teachers? I meant concerts that are held on campus.

 

No students need to hear James Taylor to study. The less distractions the better, right?

It sounds like scholarships aren't your issue.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Reply #15)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 04:39 PM

31. It's like shock and awe agreeing with you. nt

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Reply #15)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 04:47 PM

33. I dunno - depends on when those concerts are scheduled.

If they're on the weekends, or something set up in the quad during lunchtime, I don't see the harm in it, really. Music is also education. Some argue, citing scientific studies, that music education enables virtually every other kind of education. It activates the synapses, empowering and exercising the mind. Enhances reasoning, creativity, flexibility, discernment, and memory, and lots of other good things. I interviewed Shari Lewis about that, once. Yeah, THAT Shari Lewis - of Lampchop and kiddie show fame. She was quite the Renaissance woman, producer, writer, singer, musician, raconteur, symphony conductor, on-camera talent, teacher, advocate. She was BIG on music education in all schools because of how it helped students' brain development and helped them learn. Cut back music programs in schools and you wind up screwing students in math comprehension and excellence. In verbal expression. And then you're deep into the English department, too. She felt music education in schools from the youngest grades was an absolute essential. I couldn't agree more.

Besides, make it a fund-raiser and the school gets some extra money. And there's PR value. James Taylor tonight? Who knows who it might be next weekend. At my son's high school, part of the school lore was that Slash had gone there as a freshman. Those boys would have LOVED for Slash to come back by to visit his school and maybe play something. They'd have paid admission for it, and eagerly so. Might mean more money for equipment in the music room or something.

Full disclosure here - I'm one of those who'd much rather see big money donated for and spent on the arts programs at my son's school. My son was a music nerd. The most athletic activity he ever got into was karate - and some fairly extreme and quite physical guitar playing. So that's the filter through which I see these things.

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Response to Snake Alchemist (Reply #5)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 04:28 PM

25. If all the sports were like the frisbee club there would not be a problem

That was how college sports started. Just something extra to do while getting an education. Now the education is the secondary function for the glory of the sports.

For every college that is known for giving a quality education there are ten that are known for fielding a really great team of eventual dropouts.

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Response to CBGLuthier (Reply #25)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 04:30 PM

27. In your world how many colleges give a qaulity education? More than 10? nt

 

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Response to white_wolf (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 03:58 PM

7. A lot of kids who get athletic scholarships wouldn't be able to get into college on their own

Athletic scholarships can be a great way to allow kids to attend college who would never have that opportunity on their own. A lot of these kids come from low-income areas and might not qualify for academic scholarships.

That said, I would tend to agree that college sports - primarily football and basketball - has gotten way out of control.

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Response to Hugabear (Reply #7)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 04:03 PM

10. I agree with your point about being a way to help kids who couldn't get in otherwise...

that is why I said I want them to be students first and athletes second. I have no problem with that. It's just that a lot of them seem to be using college as a gateway to the pros.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #10)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 04:38 PM

30. +100

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #10)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 04:47 PM

34. FYI, only a tiny,tiny % of college athletes even sniff being close enough to play pro sports...

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Response to Hugabear (Reply #7)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 04:07 PM

16. And the minute you can't play, the sholarship goes away...

 

so it really isn't about providing education as much as supplying players for the sports program which is probably not paying for itself with all those bowl games, etc.

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Response to Hugabear (Reply #7)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 04:31 PM

28. I agree

thats why I really think the NCAA needs to make a rule that says you can not enter the draft until you graduate.

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Response to Drale (Reply #28)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 04:34 PM

29. I think that would be a great rule.

I don't expect it to happen, but I think it would help.

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Response to Drale (Reply #28)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 05:31 PM

40. Really? Could a CS student drop out to form Microsoft?

Why wouldn't you allow a kid to pursue a multi-million $$$ career? You do know Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard to pursue a business opportunity, right?

I'm ambivalent in many ways about the role of college athletics in our society, but not on this part of it. A talented kid that may not be "college material" is forced to go to college out of high school to pursue his/her dream--there really aren't options for football or basketball athletes. Now you're going to force the kid to compete/risk injury instead of grabbing the opportunity when it presents itself?

Once many of these guys go make their millions, they return to school to get their degrees. But even for the ones that don't--were they really going to benefit from spending 4 or 5 years in school?

Part (not all) of a college education is preparing students to pursue their dreams and be successful within their field. If it takes a degree to do that, fine, but if a kid on a music scholarship lands a huge record deal--why not move on if they want?

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Response to Spike89 (Reply #40)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 05:43 PM

42. Yes I do know that but

Bill Gates did not have a scholarship to play a sport at that school. If your given that, you should at least have to ability and the want to graduate with a degree.

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Response to Drale (Reply #28)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 05:53 PM

47. Contrarian view here. I think college athletes are one of the most exploited

 

classes of collegians out there. I think the rule prohibiting college athletes from being paid a salary for their efforts should be thrown out. The appeal to 'amateurism' is a throw-back to the 19th century.

Think about it. If you're a music student going to school on a music scholarship, nothing stops you from forming a band and making money playing gigs on or off campus. So why shouldn't athletes be eligible to earn a living from their entertainment?

Get rid of athletic scholarships and instead pay college athletes what the market will bear.

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Response to Hugabear (Reply #7)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 06:54 PM

53. But as a result, low-income kids who COULD qualify for academic scholarships if they studied

hard instead follow the dream of an athletic scholarship leading to the NFL or NBA, something that is statistically less likely than making a living off of art or music, take time away from their studies to perfect their athletic skills.

Having been a college professor myself and having heard plenty of stories from admissions officers over lunch, I know that a kid from a low-income background who studies hard and is an academic star can write his or her own ticket. There are a lot more jobs for people who do well in school, especially in fields like health care and engineering, than there are for professional athletes.

I distinguish students who happen to like to play a sport from dumb jocks whose only dream is being a pro athlete, who view college as an annoyingly boring and difficult obstacle to their pro career, and who have no Plan B for when they fail, as most of them will.

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Response to Hugabear (Reply #7)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 07:39 PM

61. Yes, I've thought of this, too. Understandable on a case-by-case basis.

It really depends on the kid. I believe in college being made available to EVERY kid who wants it, whether they can afford it or not. Guess that makes me a snob in rick santorum's worldview! But society at large benefits SO much from a highly-educated population. Academic responsibilities at school still must take precedence over athletic pursuits. I've seen too many times in which this has been exploited unfairly.

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Response to white_wolf (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 04:02 PM

9. D3 is not allowed to give athletic scholarships

Athletics falls under the diversity umbrella, especially in D3. Whereas a student might be on the cusp of getting admitted, a "special talent" might be just enough to get them accepted. There are many others besides sports. Just coming from another state to a state university is also considered a diversity.

Any varsity athlete is given tutoring if they need it. If they have failing grades, they will be benched. When they go to away games, they are still required to submit any assignments on time like all the other students. My daughter played D3 Ice Hockey.

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Response to white_wolf (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 04:04 PM

11. No. Certainly not while legitimate academic programs are being slashed.

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Response to white_wolf (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 04:05 PM

12. I replace "sports" with "music" and re-read the premise.

I replace "sports" with "music" and re-read the premise. It comes across with the same amount (or lack) or validity.

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Response to LanternWaste (Reply #12)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 04:08 PM

17. Are universities paying millions of dollars to music teachers?

Are they spending millions on recruiting promising young musicians to come to their schools or building new concert halls? Are they spending these millions while raising tuition prices and cutting back other academic programs? Unless, they are it is not a valid comparison.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #17)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 04:10 PM

19. "waste money that should be spend on academics"

"waste money that should be spend on academics"

I added no qualifiers... Unless of course we justify wasting a little bit on non-academics; but then that would directly imply that waste is not our prime concern, and from that, we can easily infer a most obvious bias.

But I do realize we often rationalize those things we enjoy at the expense of the things we do not.

(Additionally, though we don't spend millions of dollars on music teachers, music programs do not bring in millions in revenue for the university as do many sports programs)

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #17)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 04:19 PM

22. Are music schools making money to help support athletics?

The answer is no. However, virtually every music school at a major college is funded in large part by money brought in by the football team. People WILL go the football games even if the marching band is not there. If the football team goes away, the marching band and most of the revenues for the music school go away too.

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Response to Spike89 (Reply #22)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 05:55 PM

48. It's the same thing for the Art department and the Literature department and ...

Oh, wait.

No, it doesn't work that way.

My daughters have music scholarships and have never set foot an a football field in the marching band. In fact, the scholarship my second daughter received was set up for concert musicians, not the marching band. Most of the marching band is made up of non-music majors.

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Response to progressoid (Reply #48)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 06:35 PM

50. Can depend on the school, but at most, the money goes to the music department

The marching band may or may not be mostly music majors, but the athletic departments basically "hire" the music department to be entertainment. Although your daughters may never have set foot on a field, their music scholarships might be funded from football. At the U of O, a significant amount of funding for the music program comes directly from the AD, and more comes indirectly from things like the music school releasing a CD of the school fight song performed in various styles by almost every type musician in the program and sold almost exclusively to fans of the athletic department.

It is really beside the point anyway...few colleges spend money on athletics that otherwise would go to other areas. Kill football and there isn't suddenly more money for teachers. In fact, at many schools it would be the opposite.

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Response to Spike89 (Reply #50)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 07:33 PM

60. Nope.



Myth: The money earned from college sports helps other parts of the university.

Reality: Because athletic department expenses usually exceed revenues, any money earned by college sports teams stays in the athletic department. Moreover, athletic departments admit that they have no intention of sharing their revenue; an NCAA survey reported that fewer than 1 percent of all athletic programs defined their "fiscal objective" as earning money "to support nonathletics activities of the institution."

Rather than financially help the university, most athletic programs siphon money from it: for example, the enormous maintenance costs of stadiums and other facilities-used exclusively for athletic program events and by their elite athletes-are often placed in the "Buildings-and-Grounds" line in the university-wide budget, and the multi-million dollar debt servicing on these facilities is frequently paid by regular students in the form of mandatory "fees."

To cover athletic program losses, schools must divert money from their budgets and other financial resources. Thus funds that could go to academic programs, student scholarships, faculty and staff salaries disappear into the athletic department deficit.

https://netfiles.uiuc.edu/hschein/www/readings/athletics/collegesports.html


DOES COLLEGE FOOTBALL MAKE SCHOOLS RICHER OR POORER?
Short answer: It enriches the powerhouses, but the larger story is mixed.

In August, the NCAA released a financial breakdown of college athletics programs from 2004 through 2010. In those years, hardly more than half of the roughly 120 teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision, the old Division 1-A, generated a profit from football. Those teams netted a median gain of $9.1 million. Among the programs stuck in the red, their median loss was $2.9 million. So for elite football schools, the game is a cash cow capable of subsidizing less remunerative sports. For the gridiron also-rans, it's just one more expense.

IS COLLEGE FOOTBALL BAD FOR ACADEMICS?
Short answer: Winning teams appear to be bad for grades, but good for graduation rates.

The results weren't pretty. When Oregon won more, men's grades dropped relative to women's. When they lost, men's grades recovered. In a survey that accompanied their grade analysis, 28% of male students reported drinking more when a team won. About 20% of women said the same. Shotgunning a celebratory postgame beer, it seems, isn't conducive with studying for an economics final.


http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/12/would-colleges-be-better-off-without-football/250691/




Of course coaches and corporations are raking in millions

http://oncampus.mpr.org/2011/10/infographic-myths-about-college-sports/



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Response to progressoid (Reply #60)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 09:41 PM

62. That was very intersting. Thank you for posting. n/t

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Response to white_wolf (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 04:05 PM

13. I've known many people who wouldn't likely have been able to afford college otherwise

I do have some conflicting thoughts on it, to be sure. I am a big fan of college sports on the one hand, but I also think that big-time athletics are often overvalued at the expense of attention to academics.

But I certainly wouldn't favor eliminating scholarships for athletic ability any more than I would favor eliminating scholarships for other things. There are all kinds of scholarships awarded for things that don't directly involve the classroom, and I think that's fine. We need more ways for people to be able to afford education, not fewer.

I know there is a common stereotype about athletes not being interested in the classroom, but in my experience (I've taught at the college level for several years as well as being a student, graduate student, and working in administration) it doesn't hold up. I've had a handful of students who were on athletic scholarship and cared only about getting a good enough grade to keep their eligibility. I've had more who saw athletics as an opportunity to get an education they would never have been able to afford otherwise and worked hard in the classroom. And I've had several whose interest, like any other college student, varied on the subject and innumerable other factors.

I've known several people (not speaking of students here, but family and friends) who were able to get athletic scholarships and who would have had a hard time going to school otherwise. They've done good things with the opportunities given to them.

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Response to white_wolf (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 04:06 PM

14. Once every area of actual "education" has been funded.

When the philosophy & arts departments have more money than they know what do with I firmly believe it should be used to support games & recess activities.

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Response to raouldukelives (Reply #14)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 04:10 PM

20. I think Philosophy was one of the first departments to be cut at my school.

I bet the arts and music were a close second. Oh, and English, that always seems to get the short end of the stick. I'm not sure why, since I can't imagine anything more fundamental than knowing how to write well and understanding literature.

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Response to raouldukelives (Reply #14)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 05:56 PM

49. Agreed, but let's re-title coaches as 'Playground Supervisors' and

 

remunerate them accordingly

I mean, really, the head football coach at the U. of Kansas makes something in the neighborhood of 15-20 times what a new assistant prof of math or physics (with Ph.D. mind you) makes. Were Hamlet still around, he might say that something's rotten in the state of Kansas.

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Response to white_wolf (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 04:09 PM

18. My cousin's BS at a prestigious college was covered by a band scholarship.

Nobody complains about those, and I can't help but suspect why.

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Response to LeftyMom (Reply #18)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 07:01 PM

57. I never heard of the band members lording it over the rest of the campus

and demanding special privileges, such as inflated grades.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #57)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 07:07 PM

58. Good schools already prevent that from happening.

I've heard of plenty of non-athletes demanding inflated grades because they're trust fund brats, or because their K-12 education led them to believe that all they had to do to merit an A was show up and not drool on themselves though. Grade inflation and entitlement are epidemic and would be so even if athletic programs didn't exist.

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Response to white_wolf (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 04:15 PM

21. Not a zero sum game

Without a doubt the money highlights our society's priorities, but it isn't accurate or fair to say that athletics take money away from academics--in fact, for many schools the athletics actually contribute to the academic budget, and not in trivial amounts. I'm not an expert on UT funding, but I can say with confidence that the $80 million in stadium renovations are not coming from tuition. In almost all big-time colleges, the athletic department (AD) is self-sustaining with its own revenue streams--football and basketball (Men) pay for the smaller/less fan friendly sports as well as contribute hugely to the music, dance, and other departments (marketing, journalism, physiology/medicine, etc.).
Most college ADs contribute $millions to the academic side. Equally important to most schools is the "connection" that sports provides between the community, alumni, and others. It is extremely rare for athletic donors not to also contribute generously to academics. For instance, Phil Knight (Nike) is famous for donating huge amounts to the University of Oregon football team--he also donated even more money to build the U of O law school the general libraries on campus, as well as a number of other buildings, endowments, and chairs.
Sports aren't the hard sciences, but they are an art and I don't hear a lot of people complaining that college music programs should be killed (and they do take money away from academics).
Finally, sports are an entry point to college for some segments of the population. Many athletes come to college and graduate (BTW - athletes graduate at a higher rate than students in general at most schools) as the very first college graduate in their immediate family history.

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Response to white_wolf (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 04:40 PM

32. An emphatic & unashamed NO!

Our Institutions of Higher Learning
should be about "Higher Learning"....PERIOD!

Let "The Pros" recruit straight out of High School,
or have "Athletic Clubs" or "B Leagues" that are separate & distinct from our Colleges and Universities.
Athletes wishing to be members of these clubs would be eligible for stipends,
or even a Pay Check depending on merit.
These "Off Campus" leagues could still provide Scholarships to the nearest college
provided the athletes can keep up academically,
but absolutely No One associated with the Athletic Clubs should have ANY association or position of influence within the University or College.

IMO, the marriage of Athletics & Education has hurt our Universities.

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Response to white_wolf (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 04:52 PM

37. Use The Money For BIGAthletics For This, Instead.

I think it is criminal that so many young people graduate from college owing soooooo much money in student loans.

Then I think of all the money that universities pay for "Big Athletics".

I think it is outrageous that state universities provide money for Big Athletic programs (for things like huge stadiums, field houses, etc), when so many young people graduate from those same universities with so much debt.

Why can't the Big Universities use the money that goes to pay for Big Stadiums and Big Coaches, and help students instead, so that the students can graduate with little or no debt?

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Response to zorahopkins (Reply #37)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 06:41 PM

51. Because you would kill the revenue stream for those resources and the money wouldn't exist

In fact you'd shrink the pie for many universities because sports helps fund academics.

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Response to TheKentuckian (Reply #51)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 07:00 PM

56. Actually, sports mostly fund more sports

The sort of empty-headed alumni who are proud or ashamed to be from a given school exclusively because of its sports record tend to give only to athletic causes.

The University of Minnesota is cutting back all sorts of things and raising tuition, but you should see its new stadium.

One college where I taught had a lot of that sort of alumni, and even though the campus was in pretty poor shape and had a pathetically small library for its size, the first new building built in years was a state-of-the-art gym. That was what the Good Ol' Boy president was interested in.

After he retired, the next president came in and started raising money for a new library and a new performing arts building (since the theater department, including its performance space, was housed in the basement of a dorm, while music was scattered all over the campus.)

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #56)

Sun May 6, 2012, 08:43 PM

70. Even that being the case the proposal I responded to would still kill the very revenue stream

it wishes to convert and would still kill the revenue academics gets from sports be a trickle or flow.

The cutting of the budgets and the new facilities are in all likelihood completely unrelated because the funding comes from separate sources.

Hell, UM hockey might generate enough revenues to fund all kinds of worthy programs but their is no way to redirect those resources by being rid of the hockey program, they would just cease to exist for the school redirecting around the economy, mostly to other sports or programs or other forms of entertainment.

There is no upside, the only question is how big the loss is. Some of these programs are putting more back into the academic side than they cost, in the real world we call that profit and getting rid of it is cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Not all sports programs generate revenue, I'm sure many may not even be self supporting but it seems the ones that draw the most ire like BCS level schools are a net revenue generator for their schools even after floating the non-revenue stuff.

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Response to white_wolf (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 05:34 PM

41. The idea is not bad in principle.

The implementation is not. If the Nl and the NBA want tripple A teams, have at it boys, but outside of intramural events.

The NCAA has become, for all intents, the triplle A manager fr both leagues. For comparison where he inten still works, mostly, see track and fied, fencing, even Golf. In those sports students number on job is school, number two is the team. It's reversed with the money makers, aka basketball and football. And yes, it is a scam.

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Response to white_wolf (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 05:46 PM

43. College sports are fine as long as they are not done at the expense of the students...

Which they usually are. Athletic scholerships are okay because it gives athletically gifted kids a chance at college who otherwise wouldn't get it.

Academics should be what is emphasized at all schools and the best should be rewarded over athletics.

I just don't care to see sports given priority.

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Response to white_wolf (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 05:47 PM

44. You darn right I do

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Response to white_wolf (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 06:51 PM

52. God no (n/t)

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Response to white_wolf (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 06:54 PM

54. Sports education, recreational sports and intramural club sports - Yes; varsity intercollegiate - No

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Response to white_wolf (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 06:58 PM

55. Athletic scholarships and college sports support themselves, they don't need my help.

They also support a lot of academic scholarships, infrastructure improvements, faculty and staff payrolls. Take a look at the revenue that a major athletic program brings in vs. the cost.

"I wouldn't be a bit surprised to find out that a lot of the student athletics get special treatment to help them stay on the team."

So unfounded speculation on your part warrants eliminating a highly profitable department that a large majority of the students and alumni enjoy? There are abuses, rule violations, sure. Show me one area, one aspect of life where there aren't. Just one.

And finally, athletic scholarships offer a lot of young people a chance to go to college who would otherwise be unable to attend. And without the revenue brought in by athletic departments, tuition would be much higher, making a college education even more expensive.

(DISCLAIMER: TheManInTheMac is in no way associated with the NCAA, its affiliates or sponsors, and as a student at The Ohio State University 1984 - 1986 had the same opinion as the OP.)

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Response to white_wolf (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 10:34 PM

64. Not as it is, but I think the NCAA(?) could fix it.

 

Something like;

All the revenues go to the College/University

Salaries limited by some formula based on academic staff salaries

One athletic scholarship for each equivalent art, science, and academic scholarship.

This would push billions of dollars into higher education, allowing tuition reductions, salary increases, restored facilities, and so on, plus it would swing the balance back to the state universities from the for profit abominations. They can go back to teaching the useful skills that we need.

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Response to white_wolf (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 10:46 PM

66. It depends on the college and how much they spend on athletics.

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Response to white_wolf (Original post)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 01:35 AM

67. Our Country is Mostly Run by Ex-Jocks, and it Shows

Parents see sports as the one-stop answer to all the problems of youth. They are the font from which are supposed to flow physical fitness, teamwork, leadership skills, and all other good things. This is fine for the jocks, but the rest of us have little opportunity to learn or develop leadership skills early in life.

Those looking for future leaders look first on the athletic field. You need very good grades to get into Harvard, but you also need to be the captain of the football team or something like that if your parents didn't go there.

The result is that our country is mostly run by ex-jocks.

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Response to white_wolf (Original post)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 01:45 AM

68. College sports are popular. And because of that, they are often moneymakers

 

I live in a huge college football town. OSU home games usually attract over 100,000 fans, which is far more than any NFL team gets.

I've also worked for a university with a struggling athletics program. They pump money into it, even though it's a party school where few students really care much about athletics.

I understand why schools spend money on this, though as an academic I wish they wouldn't. But I see where it all comes from. College sports are big business.

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Response to white_wolf (Original post)

Sun May 6, 2012, 08:43 PM

71. No.

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