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.
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.