Class Warfare Blog

October 28, 2013

The Disaster that is College Sports

Everybody knows . . . I hate that phrase but . . . anyone who follows college sports knows that very few sports generate the income to pay for the others. Basically college basketball and college football programs generate the bulk of the money for college athletics budgets. Now we find out that a large majority of college football programs either break even or lose money. Colleges still support such programs and are even expanding them, because they see them as outreach programs, ways to get their marketing information out and about.

Excuse me, but the benefit to society, other than serving as the minor leagues to wealthy professional sports systems, is exactly what?

If we need any more evidence for the distorting effect money has upon our social system, here is yet another example.

If these programs provided for the physical training of all students (they don’t), if they provided for lessons in competition (which intramurals does as well), if they provided anything other than entertainment, I could support them. As it is, college sports seem completely out of control.

There is graphic going around the Internet, showing the highest paid public employee by state. Here it is (Source: Deadspin)

Highest Paid Employees by State

Notice anything?

Out . . . of . . . control.

And before the haters get on me. I was a four year college athlete: in community college for two years (no scholarships) and two years at a state college (Division II, no scholarships). I loved playing but that was a different game in a different time. The money of television and big time sports organizers hadn’t taken over yet.

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5 Comments »

  1. Just saw that Penn State had a spare $60 million to settle the Sanduski (spelling?) affair. I really don’t think universities should be sitting on $10, let along tens of millions. That’s dead money.

    Comment by john zande — October 28, 2013 @ 1:39 pm | Reply

    • An operating buffer is one thing, but I have to agree … one of my basketball teammates in college was so poor that he dressed up in his military fatigues (he was a veteran) and snuck into the chow lines at a local base to eat. What little he got from his part time job went to feed, clothe, and house his family. Getting an education is hard enough but his personal sacrifice to play college basketball always humbled me. And it was Division II and he, like me, did not start, didn’t even get to play that much.

      PS We’ve moved (again)! Just change the Apt # from 28C to 17A (110 feet down and about 30 feet east). Effective Date: October 1, 2013

      *Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem.* ************** Steve Ruis

      Comment by stephenpruis — October 28, 2013 @ 1:45 pm | Reply

  2. I’d be willing to bet that even most high school football coaches in Texas are in the top 10 percentile of wage earners

    Comment by lbwoodgate — October 28, 2013 @ 4:02 pm | Reply

    • Probably true!

      PS We’ve moved (again)! Just change the Apt # from 28C to 17A (110 feet down and about 30 feet east). Effective Date: October 1, 2013

      *Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem.* ************** Steve Ruis

      Comment by stephenpruis — October 28, 2013 @ 8:53 pm | Reply

  3. I don’t know about other colleges, but here at the University of Michigan, the football program is self-sustaining. Though the (overpaid) football coach is a public employee, his salary from out of monies generated by ticket sales and product licensing.

    That being said, I wish that Michigan would just spin off the entire football program, get it off the public rolls, and tax it to hell. *I’m assuming that the UM football program is tax free as it operates on public land under a public university.

    Comment by Pete Larson — November 2, 2013 @ 9:54 am | Reply


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