sports, money and campus

A great front page Times story today on the flow of money to a range of minor sports.  Colleges want to win and claim sports are the “front porch” of the university (a notion hard to measure), yet only 14 of the 120 major college sports powers turn a profit.  How can that be justified, when budgets are tight?  My alma mater is a case in point:

At the University of Tennessee, new facilities include an aquatics center, a softball stadium and a $16 million makeover of the baseball stadium. Plans are under way for a clubhouse and driving range for the golf teams.

The projects at Tennessee show how the big-time sports mentality has bled into smaller sports, said Todd Diacon, who served until recently as the faculty athletics representative at Tennessee.

“It strikes me that all the ills that people tend to throw at the revenue sports have now jumped over to the nonrevenue sports,” he said. “It doesn’t feel like it’s sustainable to me.”

Our first case study deals with the tremendous conflict that occurs when journalists examine such issues more closely.

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One Response to “sports, money and campus”

  1. Hugh Brady Says:

    Of course, the same effect is spilling over into the rest of academia, where the costs of dorms and new academic buildings is spiraling out of control and is probably unsustainable as well. IThe story would have been more interesting had it examined the sports spending in this context, and perhaps talked with someone about the arms race in all areas of college spending.

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