Comments on: Dump the sports, keep the radio on http://www.historiann.com/2009/02/04/dump-the-sports-keep-the-radio-on/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Tue, 23 Sep 2014 20:42:44 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: Pointless “gotcha” article, or “gotcha?” : Historiann : History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present http://www.historiann.com/2009/02/04/dump-the-sports-keep-the-radio-on/comment-page-1/#comment-402210 Thu, 13 Aug 2009 14:02:14 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=3332#comment-402210 [...] trim before tossing their presidents out into the street?  (For example:  let’s zero-out the gratis farm teams for the NBA and the NFL that most coeducational large unis have been duped in….  Just a suggestion, folks:  make the football and men’s basketball teams hold bake sales [...]

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By: Reforming higher ed: unleash the power of the free market! : Historiann : History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present http://www.historiann.com/2009/02/04/dump-the-sports-keep-the-radio-on/comment-page-1/#comment-315963 Sat, 16 May 2009 14:50:56 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=3332#comment-315963 [...] just abolish the free farm teams for the NFL and the NBA that most large universities subsidize.  I wrote about this a few months ago, when I heard news that a university radio station in my former hometown was being axed for [...]

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By: Erica http://www.historiann.com/2009/02/04/dump-the-sports-keep-the-radio-on/comment-page-1/#comment-211795 Fri, 06 Feb 2009 00:01:41 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=3332#comment-211795 @Historiann — I started there in 1996, so I think it was 1997. There was another frat guy who got drunk and fell down an elevator shaft later that year (only one floor, and survived with minor injuries), it was not a good time for the reputation of the fraternity lifestyle! There was a death in a dorm a year or two after that, from suffocation while huffing nitrous oxide. Young adults are likely to do stupid stuff like abuse alcohol or drugs, whether they’re in college or not. But advertising that as part of “our university experience” is kinda twisted, something which I did not appreciate until classmates died.

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By: sports and the academy « lines ever more unclear http://www.historiann.com/2009/02/04/dump-the-sports-keep-the-radio-on/comment-page-1/#comment-211432 Thu, 05 Feb 2009 18:37:50 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=3332#comment-211432 [...] Maybe it’s because I’m on a high from the Australian Open final (yay Rafa!) but this post (and the subsequent comments), over at Historiann’s blog, struck a nerve with [...]

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By: Ann Bartow http://www.historiann.com/2009/02/04/dump-the-sports-keep-the-radio-on/comment-page-1/#comment-211371 Thu, 05 Feb 2009 17:33:30 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=3332#comment-211371 I’m pretty sure every detailed study that has been done had concluded that mens’ football and basketball do not, in the end, generate more revenue for a university than they consume. Many schools claim this, but it depends on creative accounting to hide substantial amounts of expenses. Here’s just one I remember reading about – 8$80,000 in laundry soap PER MONTH to launder uniforms. Which doesn’t include washing machines, hot water, labor, dryers, electricity.

Coaches, trainers, doctors, support staff, tutors, ticket sales and security staff – the labor costs are huge. Travel expenses for the team, for all the people named previously, band, cheerleaders etc. are huge. Recruitment and tuition waivers eat up a lot of money. Marketing the team costs a lot. Maintaining practice facilities costs a lot. Lawyers are kept on retainer to do “athlete clean up.”

Then there are the supplies – uniforms, practice and game equipment, on and on. And most universities maintain special facilities – weight rooms, gyms, spas etc that are “athlete only” as well. Only a fraction of the actual costs get tallied and charged to the teams.

There have been books about this, and reporting by the Chron, etc. Don’t have time to compile a link list but easy enough to find I hope.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2009/02/04/dump-the-sports-keep-the-radio-on/comment-page-1/#comment-211318 Thu, 05 Feb 2009 16:55:02 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=3332#comment-211318 Erica, I remember that–was it 1994? I had just moved to Boston I think when that happened. (Yeah, lots of “fun,” puking your guts out or drinking yourself to death…)

Again, universities should be educating and elevating people’s tastes, not catering to what they think is cool when they’re 17. (And I mean “elevating” not in a snobbish way, but in a “here is your introduction to adulthood” kind of a way: here are some great books that will make you ponder human nature, historical change over time, and what makes a life worth living.)

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By: Erica http://www.historiann.com/2009/02/04/dump-the-sports-keep-the-radio-on/comment-page-1/#comment-211308 Thu, 05 Feb 2009 16:48:43 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=3332#comment-211308 That’s like saying that the party school reputation really brings in a lot of students on certain campuses, so the school should offer free bottles of Jack Daniels Black and vanilla vodka in the freshman orientation. Just because it motivates students doesn’t make it good or proper.

Somewhat off-topic, that reminded me of how I was repeatedly told on my school tour of MIT, “we’re actually a really big party school, not just a bunch of nerds studying all the time!” Then my sophomore year, a freshman died when he drank too much and was basically left by his fraternity brothers to drown in his own vomit. Suddenly it was NOT COOL to mention that there was lots of fun going on at MIT.

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By: susurro http://www.historiann.com/2009/02/04/dump-the-sports-keep-the-radio-on/comment-page-1/#comment-211271 Thu, 05 Feb 2009 16:09:48 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=3332#comment-211271 I agree with Historiann on this one. I think it does boil down to whether we are an academic institution or a sports arena, b/c in this economic climate we don’t seem able to be both. I’ll use my uni as an example:

Education is often compromised for sports not only in terms of spending priorities but also educational attainment. The salary differentials @ my uni mean that 1 coach = 10 junior faculty (roughly). Despite a scandal about sports related grade inflation 10 years ago, I routinely have cheerleaders and sports folks who’ve missed 2/3 of class demanding to know why they didn’t get an A. Last year took the cake: an international student on the tennis team attended 4 classes, turned in no assignments, and when I told her she was getting an F, I called into the coaches office and told how much the school spent to get her here and that she had better pass.

I agree with frog princess that sports does provide an entry point into college for many students who might not otherwise afford it but what good is that entry point if they are consistently cheated out of said education. (probably starting in high school)

There is also the issue of transferable skills: college radio has social capital that transfers to many arenas as well job related skills (you can get a job in radio, broadcasting, journalism, etc). Most college athletes on the other hand will never go pro, there is no social capital (except a small niche), and job skills are less apparent (team building and team work being skills that come to mind). I also see connections between classroom learning and several underfunded or now defunct programs like college radio, the school paper, political and social clubs, etc. that I’m not sure are there in sports . . .

At the same time, I think I just read the University of Oregon got a billion+ donation from Nike b/c of the Ducks that is ensuring all of their programs, departments, and new hires are secure. So there is always the exception.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2009/02/04/dump-the-sports-keep-the-radio-on/comment-page-1/#comment-211196 Thu, 05 Feb 2009 15:04:50 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=3332#comment-211196 Thefrogprincess, you’re a good sport (no pun intended.) I absolutely support club sports and small-time competition–they’re not antithetical to the work of a university. I just think the for-profit, big-business, farm team giveaway sports are welfare for the NBA and the NFL, and that those organizations should field their own farm clubs if they don’t want to recruit 17- and 18-year olds.

I like K.N. suggestion that if it’s not a graduation requirement, then it’s not mission-critical. Everything that’s not on the transcript should be on the chopping block, if cuts are inevitable. Mikhail’s story about the $300M stadium that’s greenlighted while cutting academic programs is a travesty. If people go to college games for the games, then club sports will still generate the publicity and good will that the welfare teams generate. If, on the other hand, people support college sports for the proximity to celebrity and entertainment and the possibility of painting your body blue or red to get on national TV–well, I don’t see at all how that is mission-critical.

I guess the cryin’ shame of it all is that it COSTS ALMOST NOTHING TO BE ACADEMICALLY STRONG IN THE HUMANITIES. Any school looking to up its national rankings should invest in their CLAs. No expensive labs or fancy research facilities need be built, and sad to say, it won’t take a half a million in salary to recruit people like it seems to for college coaches. All you have to do is hire good people and give them reasonably small classes to teach, and they’ll take care of the rest.

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By: Rad Readr http://www.historiann.com/2009/02/04/dump-the-sports-keep-the-radio-on/comment-page-1/#comment-210547 Thu, 05 Feb 2009 06:13:53 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=3332#comment-210547 Erica is right that at some schools football and basketball are profitable ventures. They get professional-class athletes to play without adequate compensation and rake in the TV revenues. Sounds like exploitation. In addition, some universities build name recognition from sports teams. Not to pick on anybody, but I don’t think I have ever heard the Crimson Tide’s university mentioned in relation to academics.

I think historiann is on to something in saying that sports can take resources away from other programs. I think some relatively younger universities have built academic reputations in part by avoiding costly sports teams. It’s pathetic when universities try to play the sports game. I was in Florida last summer and saw ads for Florida Atlantic’s football team. I suppose people who go to FAU don’t want to cheer for the Canes or the Gators, or maybe it was a response to the Dolphins’ string of bad seasons (reversed this year with a trip to the playoffs).

Tom cracks me up…universities entertaining people as a service! Maybe they can showcase pole dancing as a service. And sports culture as service learning!! Good one, Tom.

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