Can this man coach women's skiing? In Florida?
We here at BloggEd are fond of tweaking college sports, specifically the huge amount of financial, cognitive and emotional resources they take up, and the relatively little educational value they give back. But we have to give credit where credit is due, and we offer some major props to …
Women’s intercollegiate skiing.
The NCAA reports that among the most recent cohort studied (students entering college between 1999 and 2002), 98 percent of women skiiers graduated within six years. Actually, in ten out of the eighteen women’s sports listed, the graduation rate was 89 percent or higher.
What about the men? The highest rate was for lacrosse, at 88 percent. The three lowest were baseball, football and basketball, at 69, 67, and 64 percent respectively.
What a surprise.
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Posted in Sports, Uncategorized on October 27, 2009 |
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Headline in the Chronicle of Higher Education:
Presidents Favor Reining In Athletics Costs but Feel Powerless to Effect Change
The article cites a report from the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics which surveyed ninety-five presidents of colleges and universities in the NCAA’s Division I-A and found that nearly all of them felt that football and basketball coaches were overpaid, and that sports held too much sway on their campuses, but they felt powerless to do anything about it. One (unnamed) president said:
The real power doesn’t lie with the presidents. Presidents have lost their jobs over athletics. Presidents and chancellors are afraid to rock the boat with boards, benefactors, and political supporters who want to win, so they turn their focus elsewhere.
It is a sorry state of affairs.
The comments on the Chronicle article are well worth reading. I like this observation from a professor:
Fully half the athletes in my classes were absent today. None are in big-name sports. And they were not away for games. Try as we might to be open-minded, it’s a tough sell to most experienced professors that sports, other than intramurals, complement an education. Depends on the students and the coach. But bad behavior in all sports is rampant. When an athlete is too tired to do their work because of a 5 a.m. practice, then what?
And this from “raymond_j_ritchie”:
I am very glad that in Australia we have the Institute of Sport (AIS) in Canberra. Sporty types can run off to AIS for their education. They run round in circles, throw things, swim and of course hit and chase balls. A cattle-dog pup would love it. They do a “Sports Science” course. No comment. Nobody pretends the Institute of Sport is a university and universities shun it. Australian Pro-Football clubs do their own training and have nothing to do with universities…. Even in sport-mad Australia the notorious american experience of university sports has so far been enough for universities to refuse to get involved in pro-sports and sports scholarships.
It would be nice if we could follow the Aussies’ lead. But that would be putting the genii back in the bottle—a notoriously hard thing to do.
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Posted in Budget, Sports on September 11, 2009 |
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The $4 million man
The Chronicle of Higher Education recently ran a section on athletics and academics in the Southeastern Conference (SEC), revealing, among other things, that “of the league’s 12 head football coaches, eight make $2-million a year or more, twice as many as in any other league.” The biggest earner is the guy at left, Florida coach Urban (“Legend”) Meyer, who was given a $750,000 raise last month, making his salary $4 million a year—this just after the university’s overall budget was cut by $42 million.
To paraphrase Congressman Barney Frank: What planet are these people on?
Maybe the most shocking thing in the section was a chart showing changes in spending on athletics vs. academics by the twelve colleges in the conference. With two exceptions (Vanderbilt and–barely–Ole Miss) sports far outstripped studies. The most egregious offenders were Georgia (12% increase for academics, 57% for sports) and Auburn (5%/38%). The University of Arkansas spent nearly $63 million on sports in the most recent year for which figures were available, and barely more than that on academics–$108 million. Its football coach, Bobby Petrino, gets paid $2.9 million a year.
The proof of the pudding is in the NCAA figures: Arkansas shows a 45% graduation rate for its football players.
I’m not a dummy. I understand that economically, these decisions are rational. That is, Meyer will probably be responsible for bringing in more than his salary a year, in dollars, good feelings, and glory to the U. of Florida name.
But with priorities like this, do these outfits still have a right to be called institutions of higher learning? I don’t think so.
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