Why don’t they simply drop the “university” pretensions that the places even exist for purposes of education?
Most of them are doing the “educating” part–just maybe not so much for the pro-sports wannabees.
My idea, posted long ago on the old MF, was to essentially have a “professional sports” training league affiliated with each school. Just pay them to esentially be the “farm clubs” for the professional teams. Then charge the various professional leagues for access, ability to draft players in training, etc. Then the real money starts to flow.
Why would the NFL and NBA, the two major beneficiaries of college sports hype, pay for it? Now, everything is free to the “JCs” of the leagues, subsidized by the state funding and student tuition fees, that are diverted from education.
The schools’ JCs want a piece of the sports action (their “vig”).
College football and basketball coaches are already the highest paid government employees in many states, paid well in excess of what anyone with a real job, like the Gov, is paid.
Harbaugh’s annual base salary started at $7.05 million in 2022 and increases steadily to $7.63 million in 2026. It’s over a $3 million jump from his 2021 base salary on his previous deal.
The JC’s are not the coaches. They are employees.
Less than two dozen universities make a profit on their athletics program. Everyone else is losing money. The grandiose stadiums, the coach’s payday, are all heavily subsidized by the taxpayers and the people who go to the university for an education. Paying the players will only increase costs, especially for the top tier “schools”. They are talking about $30k/year, and they have to pay an equal rate to players in women’s sports.
Really, who are the “JCs” of state universities? The big dog (President, Chancellor, whatever) is also an employee, subject to termination. The board of governors? Also employees, elected to their posts in Michigan. And the football coaches are paid more than any of them.
The biggest donors. Do what they want or their money walks.
U of M is one of the handful of universities that manages to cover the cost of it’s athletic programs.
In the 2022 annual report, the university boasted of $515M of cash donations. Only $212M of that went into academic operations, and $7 went into hospital operations. So most of the donations went to the “self supporting” athletics. Get rid of athletics and a lot of donations go away, but, without athletics, you don’t need those donations, because they don’t help academics or the hospital anyway.