Our University is having a football game on a weeknight. This of course creates logistical issues because of people starting to park and tailgate in lots normally used by students, faculty and staff during the day, but y’know. We deal.
What we can’t deal with is the administration bending over backward to ensure students can go party/tailgate in the afternoon while classes are going on. The administration encouraged the faculty to cancel classes after 3:00 pm. What we can’t deal with are students asking faculty members to reschedule tests taking place that day because “Football is an American tradition” and “We’ll be too busy thinking about the game and tailgating to do well on the test.” “Thinking about,” not even attending, “thinking about.”
You know, there are times going to school sucks, but you fucking do it. That’s why it is called *earning* a degree.
Do this kid think their future bosses are going to forgive getting them work done on time just because there’s a football game they want to attend that night and they just can’t possibly concentrate until then?
They would be lucky if he or she only laughed them out of their office.
As my chair put it, “A college education is an American tradition for those lucky enough to attend.”
According to the faculty, this is not an unusual occurrence.
This is the problem with football (and sometimes basketball) for too many American colleges and universities: It is God.
Many coaches yearly salaries far, far! outstrip the entire yearly budgets for academic departments. From double to a hundred times for the college coaches paid in the millions.
And let me dispel the biggest myth about college sports: “They make money for the university, so it is worth the university’s investment.”
“Just 23 of 228 athletics departments at NCAA Division I public schools generated enough money on their own to cover their expenses in 2012. Of that group, 16 also received some type of subsidy — and 10 of those 16 athletics departments received more subsidy money in 2012 than they did in 2011.”
This means they taking money away from academic programs to pay for their football or basketball programs. The vast majority of them do not earn money. They cost money and whatever donations they bring in: The vast majority go to athletics, not academics.
“But it gives scholarships to those who need it” A. So many faculty across the country have stories of college athletes who were woefully under qualified to be attending college, some barely able to read at a 8th grade level, and the university spends more money nursing them through the system with extra tutoring, etc. B. Prepared or no, many college athletes get scholarships while students perfectly qualified to come in and study the STEM disciplines are racking up student loans to do so. If they can even get student loans. C. While a few take advantage of it, the majority of college athletes think they are going pro (of course the vast majority of them are not) and so coast through in Communications and Exercise Science majors and the like.
In short, college athletics has become more trouble than it is worth and is devaluing the educations of our Universities.
At the very least,
1. The subsidies from the academic side need to end. If a program can’t support itself? Tough.
2. Coaches salaries need to brought down to sane levels. No more than $200,000 a year from the state/University. They want more, the team has to earn enough to pay the coaches more out of their profits. Or they can go work for the NFL.
3. Student athletes need face the same academic qualifications to enter a university that other students do.
4. No more athletic scholarships unless the student is academically high performing. That way if someone *really* wants to play football, they will practice *and* pay attention in class and do their homework.
But what I really think should happen?
European Universities and sports seem to function fine divorced from one another. In fact, they both function even better for it. I think that is what the university system in the U.S. should do: End college athletics. Private colleges can do what they want, but if state money is involved, Universities should exist for education and not have sports team.