Monday, November 2, 2009
Schools Need Sports
All across the country, colleges are cutting back, laying off and instituting furlough days to compensate for the lack of funding due to the bad economy. The latest talk for many universities is to cut back or even cut off funding for sports. The academic professors and administrators claim that football, basketball and many baseball coaches make more money than the top tenured professors. And, in most, if not all cases, they are right. But to cut off funding? Not a good idea.
We have said this many times before, but collegiate sports gives a university its identity and soul. The TV, front page, magazine and Internet coverage is priceless for many schools. Maybe priceless isn't the right word. It's very, very profitable.
This past weekend, Oregon and USC were the featured game of the week. That game alone and its surprising outcome, did more for the Ducks and their admissions department than any academic achievement alone could have accomplished. It doesn't downplay the academic achievements that Oregon may have earned...on a scale of importance, any academic pursuit or achievement is far more important than a athletic contest. It just doesn't bring in as much money or create as much overall awareness.
Football and basketball do their part to create that top of mind awareness from September through March. We just need Baseball to step up and continue that build up of awareness from April through June.
But the bottom line is...you can't cut the heart of a universities identity out and expect it to keep beating at the same rate. Students needs sports and entertainment at their schools to break up the stress of the real reason they are all there...To get a well rounded education.