The US University Athletics Problem

There must be more to life than football?
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Thorisgodpoo
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The US University Athletics Problem

Post by Thorisgodpoo » Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:14 pm

So I am going to run with this idea, and start a thread over here to inform those of the problems the US higher education system has with athletics and it's prioritization over academics.

I will follow this up later on in the day as I am at work and don't have time to type this out on my mobile. But needless to say, it is a massive problem and I will reveal them later today. But for now, I would recommend starting with searching NPR related articles on Ed O'Bannon, former UCLA standout and NBA player.

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Re: The US University Athletics Problem

Post by Thorisgodpoo » Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:26 am

It's incredibly tough to say where to start with the problem of university athletics. For those not in the know of the US universities, a lot of college sports, particularly American football and basketball, gets glamorized by the big schools like Ohio State v Michigan, Texas v Oklahoma, even as small Kent State v Akron. So naturally this is going to be perceived as a source of income for the university, which in some instances like Ohio State, Michigan, Texas, and Oklahoma, they get a return on their investment, and in turn actually bring in money for the university itself.

So these athletics programs are given athletic scholarships from the university, which typically include 100% tuition assistance, room and board paid for, and some other perks. Usually these athletics programs try to make every spot available on their team as a scholarship position. Some universities will allow up to 70 scholarship positions for just the football team. These are athletic programs that typically have anywhere between 15-40 sports at any sized university. So naturally the university subsidizes the program from the general fund, the fund that students pay into. This, as you can see, creates a problem amongst students who are aware of what their money is going to.

From my perspective of seeing these Midwest universities, you see academic buildings with a worn facade. Going inside of the building is not much better either, as they usually justify keeping the building for a little bit longer by giving it a fresh coat of paint and refurbish the building without touching structural needs. But yet they usually have enough money to keep funding an athletics program that continually has not been successful, sometimes amounting to over $3.8 million for just the football team. Yes, some of this money does come from donations, but not all of it.

To add to the administrative problem that is athletic programs, the athletic scholarships are not much themselves. The student athletes do not get paid past tuition, room and board being paid for. They are not allowed to take money either. They are not allowed to use their image rights while at that university to benefit them in any way. Just having a job is possible disqualification from the scholarship. On top of that, the university owns the image rights of that student athlete forever, so they can use any image of them for profit. And to wrap this up, they sign a 1 year scholarship.

You can see that I have a bias toward athletic programs, it is unnecessary spending when the university can be saving the money to upkeep the buildings or start planning on building something new. Watching faculty members who generate income for the university leave because the building, which has some of the multi-million dollar science equipment, has a knack to have a water pipe leak or burst.

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mrblackbat
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Re: The US University Athletics Problem

Post by mrblackbat » Wed Apr 04, 2018 1:39 pm

"The student athletes do not get paid past tuition, room and board being paid for. "

That's still a pretty healthy sum of being paid, though, compared to walk on students?

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Re: The US University Athletics Problem

Post by Thorisgodpoo » Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:07 am

mrblackbat wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 1:39 pm
"The student athletes do not get paid past tuition, room and board being paid for. "

That's still a pretty healthy sum of being paid, though, compared to walk on students?
Not necessarily. Take my alma mater for example, Youngstown State. Tuition plus board for a year is earmarked around $20,000. Take University of Akron for example, that sits around $40,000 a year.

Sure, you can argue that it's a healthy sum of money, but you also consider that they cannot take on outside sources of income. They are pretty much bound to what the university gives them. Look at what happened at Ohio State University years ago when the coach (now president of a certain university) who shall not be named decides to ignore earned income from his own student athletes.

Also, consider that athletes at higher end universities typically don't graduate, essentially wasting whatever education the institution has applied toward them. And typically, there are a lot of back room dealings, pressure applied by athletic departments to the university professors to give these athletes passing grades when they don't show up to class or put in any work.

The argument to say that they are getting money is a wash because it was never their money to begin with. It is typically the money of a university or a foundation attached to the university (which is just a fancy way of saying tax write off for donors) and gets recirculated into the university. It isn't someone like me who actually has to pay for tuition, there for creating an income stream.

This whole thing started with Texas' obsession with American football (although it can be traced back further). The Southern Methodist University were paying players to come and play for them, most notably Eric Dickerson. Paying for athletes got out of hand, and NCAA used SMU as an example and dismantled their football program.

Not only should athletic programs be separate entities from the university, but no tuition paying student should have their money be put into a program that has zero academic value. On top of that, typically those who run these programs are fiscal conservatives, but don't mind wasting money from a university that struggles to update infrastructure to the point where they get sued because their parking deck has pieces of concrete falling on the cars stored in it.

I know I went on a super tangent, but the sum of money they get from scholarships is money that comes from students who pay into the university or wealthy donors that have the intent to upgrade university infrastructure, not pay for a student athlete that typically doesn't contribute back to the university other than image rights.

And that sum of money is borderline poverty level living.

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Re: The US University Athletics Problem

Post by Thorisgodpoo » Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:36 am

Also, this picture is great if you haven't seen it yet

Image

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