Phi Beta Cons

‘The $10 Billion Sports Tab’

Today’s Chronicle of Higher Education attacks college sports on the grounds that universities are forcing students to pay billions of dollars in athletic fees. The story (researched with the Huffington Post) focuses on the football team of Georgia State University, which joined the Football Bowl Subdivision in 2013 (when, apparently, it wasn’t ready). It has had losing seasons and light attendance, while students have paid $90 million in athletic fees over the past five years. (Sixty percent of the school, reports the Chronicle, qualifies for Pell grants.)

The Chronicle interviewed Bill Curry, the former Alabama coach who coached the team for three years, writing:

Since joining the NCAA’s top level, the Panthers have gone 3-29. Mr. Curry says he feels bad for the players, but he understands the university’s motivation: Colleges like Georgia State feel tremendous pressure to seize opportunities to enhance their status. As much as anything, he says, it was a play for prestige.

So, life continues as usual at our public universities.

Jane S. ShawJane S. Shaw retired as president of the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy in 2015. Before joining the Pope Center in 2006, Shaw spent 22 years in ...


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