Comments on: Call the whaaaaaaaaaambulance–the drunks need a ride to the drunk tank. http://www.historiann.com/2009/09/22/call-the-whaaaaaaaaaambulance-the-drunks-need-a-ride-to-the-drunk-tank/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Sun, 28 Sep 2014 10:58:43 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: Comrade PhysioProf http://www.historiann.com/2009/09/22/call-the-whaaaaaaaaaambulance-the-drunks-need-a-ride-to-the-drunk-tank/comment-page-1/#comment-442968 Wed, 23 Sep 2009 13:48:19 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7540#comment-442968 My understanding is that only a very few universities actually make money on their big-time sports programs, those like USC, Penn State, Notre Dame, Texas, Florida, Bama, and so forth. I think the time has come to accept that fact that universities are run like corporations. While corporations are run for the financial benefit of stockholders, universities are run for the financial benefit of high-end adminstrators and superstar faculty and–even more importantly–for the *social* benefit of trustees and high-roller donors (and their relatives).

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By: perpetua http://www.historiann.com/2009/09/22/call-the-whaaaaaaaaaambulance-the-drunks-need-a-ride-to-the-drunk-tank/comment-page-1/#comment-442931 Wed, 23 Sep 2009 12:03:20 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7540#comment-442931 One other insidious aspects of the whole college sports phenomenon besides the money is the focus of the university on the team. While they all argue that playing up their sports teams “make” the uni money (although this has never been demonstrated statistically to me), few take into account the way these athletic teams skew the priorities and mission of those running the university. The priority shifts from being about education to being a corporate-sponsored brand/ form of entertainment. . . One tiny but telling example: at my former uni (a known football school, but not Big Ten – that is to say, precisely the kind of place where football is probably draining) the university president embarked on a “branding” campaign for the school. The school’s new “brand” became the new symbol for the athletic teams. Thus the new symbol was placed not only on all the uniforms, but replaced the older university symbol (it’s seal) on all buildings, signs, university letterhead and business cards. The faculty were embarrassed that suddenly their professional looking cards no longer looked professional or academic. But we weren’t allowed to keep the old symbol, because we ALL had to follow the school’s new brand – ie the athletic symbol. I know what’s on a card is a petty issue, but it demonstrates how the obsession with branding always goes hand-in-hand with athletics rather than academics, and affects the entire priority system of the university.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2009/09/22/call-the-whaaaaaaaaaambulance-the-drunks-need-a-ride-to-the-drunk-tank/comment-page-1/#comment-442474 Wed, 23 Sep 2009 03:36:57 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7540#comment-442474 I know, Indyanna–I think it was probably more dads than moms, but that’s just a guess. I assume it was both, though.

Ugh.

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By: Indyanna http://www.historiann.com/2009/09/22/call-the-whaaaaaaaaaambulance-the-drunks-need-a-ride-to-the-drunk-tank/comment-page-1/#comment-442465 Wed, 23 Sep 2009 03:12:44 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7540#comment-442465 Historiann, Any gendered breakdown on the “pre-emptively diapered” adults whisked by EMTs from the student parties into the ERs? The image boggles the mind, of the ‘rents and their offspring lit by strobe lights and kegs, but my mind shuts down at the thought that this could be anything other than an entirely “dads ‘n grads” phenomenon. Say it ain’t so…

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2009/09/22/call-the-whaaaaaaaaaambulance-the-drunks-need-a-ride-to-the-drunk-tank/comment-page-1/#comment-442460 Wed, 23 Sep 2009 02:56:27 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7540#comment-442460 p.s. I have mentioned this book before, Murray Sperber’s Beer and Circus: How Big-Time College Sports is Crippling Undergraduate Education. I think he’s got a pretty good run-down of the numbers there.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2009/09/22/call-the-whaaaaaaaaaambulance-the-drunks-need-a-ride-to-the-drunk-tank/comment-page-1/#comment-442457 Wed, 23 Sep 2009 02:38:12 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7540#comment-442457 Michael–I still disapprove on principal, but the fact is that there’s way more money spent in profligate fashion on NCAA sports than in any other line in a university’s budget, bar none, and none of it is related to the educational mission! So, what John S. said. If football franchises are so profitable, they should just sever themselves from unis and go it alone.

LMC and ER Doc–thanks for the local news insight. ER Doc, I don’t know how close you are to “the Bank,” but when I lived in a small SW Ohio college town, the ER docs in that town told me that parents’ weekend was the biggest drunken ER weekend of the whole year, and that it was all hands on deck that weekend. Was it because students were partying too hard? Not at all. It was that their parents were drinking so heavily at frat and other student parties that they required ER admissions and medical attention. (Yeah, these folks who were pre-emptively diapered and then given IV fluids and left to wake up in…giant wet diapers. Awesome!)

That was the other point of my post, although longtime readers know that I never like to miss an opportunity to ding big-time college sports. The perception is that alcohol is a problem with the student population, when frequently it’s their parents and their elders who have the bigger, and much more serious, problems. I must live in total la-la land, but the idea that alcohol availability was a dealbreaker for some potential marks for “the Bank” is shocking, and very telling. (Cf. Mr. and Mrs. Richistan in the big, soaking wet adult diapers over there.)

Oh, and I think you meant to reference Fratguy’s comments about alcohol profits, not Comerade PhysioProf’s recipes for Sazerac rye. (Good taste, that CPP, though.)

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By: ER Doc http://www.historiann.com/2009/09/22/call-the-whaaaaaaaaaambulance-the-drunks-need-a-ride-to-the-drunk-tank/comment-page-1/#comment-442443 Wed, 23 Sep 2009 01:38:03 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7540#comment-442443 Historiann, Comrade PhysioProf has hit the source of the problem. When the Gophers played at the Metrodome, they were playing at a facility owned by a public entity not affiliated with the University and also the host for two professional sports teams. Consequently, beer was freely sold throughout the stadium, unlike any of the other stadiums in the Big Ten, (or any others I’m familiar with.) When they moved to a university-owned stadium, they felt they had to follow the procedures in place at other university sports venues, meaning no beer sales, and requiring drinkers to drink before the game and/or sneak it in. As you noted, they wanted to sell alcohol to the high-rollers, as is done at other places like Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, but the governor, who never wanted the stadium to be built in the first place, said no. The rest of the stadium, interestingly, has sold out, at least for this season, even without the beer.

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By: Indyanna http://www.historiann.com/2009/09/22/call-the-whaaaaaaaaaambulance-the-drunks-need-a-ride-to-the-drunk-tank/comment-page-1/#comment-442435 Wed, 23 Sep 2009 01:30:40 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7540#comment-442435 John S. I’m remembering not the Atco Dragway, but rather I think a place called Raceway Park, (“Sunday, Sunday, SUNday”), which you could get to on Route 22, passing a strange battleship-shaped shopping center “AT the Flagship…” You from down in Jersey somewhere?

But this is spinning off-thread, into the hay bales… What I want to know is, did the Gophers take home the hardware that year, to wit, Floyd of Rosedale?

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By: Little Midwestern College http://www.historiann.com/2009/09/22/call-the-whaaaaaaaaaambulance-the-drunks-need-a-ride-to-the-drunk-tank/comment-page-1/#comment-442434 Wed, 23 Sep 2009 01:28:58 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7540#comment-442434 I don’t know if it will aid the drink menu here, but TCF Stadium is being referred to as “The Bank”–that’s in contrast to “The Barn” which is the nickname for the Gopher men’s and women’s basketball arena across the way. I think it’s also interesting to note that U of M students are now assessed a $25/year special fee to help pay for the new stadium.

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By: John S. http://www.historiann.com/2009/09/22/call-the-whaaaaaaaaaambulance-the-drunks-need-a-ride-to-the-drunk-tank/comment-page-1/#comment-442430 Wed, 23 Sep 2009 01:27:28 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=7540#comment-442430 Michael: yes, but then there’s the “hidden” cost. As I glance at a UM press release from 2007, the new stadium that opened two weeks ago cost $288 million to build–around $40 mill over the initial budget. The press release assured everyone that the increased cost wouldn’t come out of the U’s academic mission: “Instead, the U will fund it using a combination of financing tools and increased athletics revenue that will result from the new stadium.”

But here’s the question: aren’t the luxury suites that aren’t selling out one of the anticipated revenue streams? And who’s left holding the bag when the financial tools don’t work so good anymore (no one anticipated that financial chicanery could lose money in a crash!) or the increased revenue doesn’t come?

So….$5 mill profit….against a $288 mill stadium. How do we figure out if it was all worth it, this year, five years from now, 15 years from now? And who does the cost accounting to see if this was a terrible boondoggle?

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