Arnold Kling agrees with me (and Glen Reynolds):
I suspect that the romanticization of college sports comes from the same human tendency that produces the romanticization of government. Lots of people will tell you that they hate pro football and hate pro basketball, but they love college sports. Because it is non-profit.
Source: The Libertarian Solution to College Sports | askblog
I share Arnold’s general antipathy toward non-profits.
From the Dallas Morning News today:
Why is this business model — unpaid labor, mostly by black athletes, generating riches for white administrators — still tolerated?
That is some guy named Donald Yee. He is onto something, but is wrong about the solution. The athletes should be paid, that is true. But the real solution is to take away the tax preference of being part of the university in the first place.
Also, racism isn’t what motivates the economics of the college athletic scene, it is the whole set of lousy incentives and the distortions that have metastasized over time.
Additionally, the fact that most of these “student” athletes would never be admitted to the institutions for which they play, creates all sorts of corrupting opportunities for everyone associated with Big State U. Just look at North Carolina.
A surprising bit from the article:
only 24 of 230 Division I public schools generated sufficient revenues to cover the total costs of their athletic programs
And that is the generous estimate.
My alma mater, the University of St. Thomas, will play the hated Purple Raiders of Mount Union tomorrow night at 6:05pm CST in the Alonzo Stagg Bowl. This will be Mount Union’s 11th straight trip to the championship game. The Tommies were last there in 2012. A game that was lost to Mount Union.
I’m going to watch the game at Community Beer Company located at 1530 Inspiration Dr., Suite 200, Dallas, TX 75207.
Come join me for a Mosaic or Public Ale. Heck, come join me for whatever of their beers you might like.
It will be interesting to see if this post on my unread blog gets any notice…
But if you’re a St. Thomas alum. The watching party in Dallas is at Community Beer Company…
When I want to watch a game, I go to a friend’s house or a bar.
Don’t buy ESPN’s PR talk that its 7 million-household dip in subscribers is just a blip. It’s for real, and it will have serious consequences for the way you watch sports.
Source: The Sports Bubble Is About to Pop – The Daily Beast
ESPN has lost 7 million subscribers over the last two years. What you should understand is that many of the lost subscribers were not sports fans, so the ratings are not yet effected. These people decided they didn’t need to pay ESPN $10 a month (or more) for sports they don’t watch.
This is going to have a great deal of impact on the sports business. It will change Big State U’s athletic program too.
Naturally don’t take this as advice to go short Disney, as this decline can go on for a long time before it becomes calamitous.
Via Instapundit: A nice editorial on UNC leadership in regard to their academic and sports scandal.
It really is amazing that more people have not been fired over this academic scandal.
I used to work in higher education. I was in admissions at Directional U (we’re going to ignore that wasted nine months running a business school in Mauritius). I also used to write and post more on the problems of higher education, particularly the problems with borrowing money to attend college. There are a lot of people that do that better than me. I’m mostly going to leave it to them.
I am going to shift the focus a little.
I’m going to start posting about college and university athletic departments. When you look at a place like the University of Texas’ Athletic Department, it is sort of easy to see and understand how it came to be in its current state. If you had no knowledge of college athletic departments (such as is the case in Europe), you would look at this arrangement and wonder how it is allowed to exist. There is no good reason for the UT athletic department to exist. The State of Texas’ premier tax supported institution of higher education and research should not have attached to it such a large organization that adds nothing, or even subtracts from, it’s core purpose. I do understand that UT’s athletic department kicks money over to the general fund every year, but it is a rare exception among university athletic departments. UT is an exception, the vast majority of university athletic departments operate at a loss.
Most of the scholarship athletes do not belong in these universities. They just don’t have the academic chops.
A significant number of these athletes are criminals.
I am not alone in my thinking. Victor Davis Hanson: End College Football.
Disclosure: The Ace spent two years at Arkansas. The Deuce attends Ole Miss. I do watch college football, but really remain puzzled as to why it exists.