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Is College Football Stealing Your Education?


October 19, 2015
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
To date, roughly 70 percent of college students graduate with approximately $30,000 in college debt. What accounts for the increase in college tuition and debt burden? A short by Brave New Films titled The Big Came: College Football Stealing Your Education claims that college athletics, particularly football, may just be the problem. 
Since 2000, state universities across the nation have increased their tuition by 30 percent. Schools with strong football programs have increased tuition by as much as 65 percent. Studies reveal a correlation between student fees that feed directly into athletic programs and force tuition hikes. Ohio University for example, has athletic fees that run $48 a credit hour. That is about $6,000 of financial aid and scholarships that goes into paying for schools' athletic programs.

To date, roughly 70 percent of college students graduate with approximately $30,000 in college debt. What accounts for the increase in college tuition and debt burden? A short by Brave New Films titled The Big Came: College Football Stealing Your Education claims that college athletics, particularly football, may just be the problem. Since 2000, state universities across the nation have increased their tuition by 30 percent. Schools with strong football programs have increased tuition by as much as 65 percent. Studies reveal a correlation between student fees that feed directly into athletic programs and force tuition hikes. Ohio University for example, has athletic fees that run $48 a credit hour. That is about $6,000 of financial aid and scholarships that goes into paying for schools' athletic programs.

How does this affect school budgets? Many universities have taken to cutting faculty and degree programs, such as the University of Akron, which cut 215 jobs and $40 million dollars from their budget and yet, tuition did not go down. Head Football Coach Terry Bowden was signed to a $2 million contract, which comes out to $400,000 a year. When compared to the average adjunct professor salary of $25,000, it is important to consider the allocation of money within higher education. According to the Huff Post, most state coaches are the highest paid public employees.

Supporters of collegiate athletic programs argue that there's immense profit, but this is debatable as it's been found that Division I athletic programs lose $11 million a year on an operating basis and much more when capital and indirect costs are included. Athletic programs may not be as self-supporting if "the vast majority require a subsidy from the institution" to survive. Students will pay separate fees and higher tuition to cushion the deficit - these fees will not help fix classrooms or hire faculty. Alumni who donate to schools are typically donors to athletic programs rather than student or academic scholarships. It may make sense that the revenue generated from winning teams would feed directly into the athletic program and yet, those same programs remain in deficit.

In your opinion, do you think collegiate athletic programs are distorting expenditures and neglecting other important areas in higher education? Leave us your opinion in the comment section below. If you are an dedicated, passionate and talented athlete, check out some of our sports scholarships.

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Discuss

Share your thoughts and perhaps thousands of students will benefit from your unique insight on the subject!



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moha mahdi  on  10/29/2015 1:08:50 PM commented:

I am Somali boy a don't have money help me

CHRISTOPHER  on  10/21/2015 2:38:21 PM commented:

IF I GO TO PRIVATED HIGH SCHOOL CAN I GET HELP TO PAY

Marcos Nobrega  on  10/20/2015 8:19:35 PM commented:

The most important reason why people go to college is to further their education and their career. Why waste that money on college athletic programs? That money should towards students who are motivated to earn a higher income in any desirable field that they set their minds to. Yes, it's great to have students involved in extracurricular activites, like sports, clubs, etc. However, education should always be first and foremost.

Stephanie Y.  on  10/20/2015 7:45:35 PM commented:

I always knew athletics were considered more important than anything else. When I was in school, funding for music class was cut, but not one sporting event was ever cancelled. It's not fair for a ball player to make millions, but a teacher barely makes $60,000 per year!

Unanimous  on  10/20/2015 4:08:38 PM commented:

I have never thought that tuition would rise, because of athletics, but now that I've read this article it proves a good point. I also believe the recession has been a factor in the tuition rising yearly.

Carl S.  on  10/17/2015 5:27:41 AM commented:

Theses conclusions are laughable. If you want to know why college costs exceed the rate of inflation, examine how giving away student loans like candy contributes to the situations. Too many easy dollars chasing an in demand service means inflationary pressures...Economics 101.

Angela F.  on  10/17/2015 2:24:44 AM commented:

Two months ago, the news reported that our local junior college had to cut several faculty positions due to extreme budget constraints and lack of funding. Important departments were closed completely including career services. This week the news reported the college's board meeting to discuss plans to revamp the football stadium (in perfect working order), a project in the millions of dollars. This issue is a real problem and I can't grasp how the unethical practices explained in this article are allowed to go on. It's happening right here in my hometown, and it's sickening.

Tegan F.  on  10/17/2015 12:56:25 AM commented:

I believe that it isn't financially correct because there are a majority of students who attend college strictly for an education. Not for sports. For these students they are paying more for something that isn't even going to them.

Hannah S.  on  10/17/2015 12:46:27 AM commented:

I don't think we should take away the scholarships from the athletics, they deserve it, they worked for it. Raising tuition fees arn't okay, and shouldn't happen. I do wish that other students had the chance to get a scholarship based on something other than football, basketball, swimming etc. Our generation has so much to show, sometimes we don't get enough to show it. Keep trying and don't give up is the way I look at, just because you didn't grow up playing a sport, doesn't mean there are not any other options!

Hannah S.  on  10/17/2015 12:45:54 AM commented:

I don't think we should take away the scholarships from the athletics, they deserve it, they worked for it. Raising tuition fees arn't okay, and shouldn't happen. I do wish that other students had the chance to get a scholarship based on something other than football, basketball, swimming etc. Our generation has so much to show, sometimes we don't get enough to show it. Keep trying and don't give up is the way I look at, just because you didn't grow up playing a sport, doesn't mean there are not any other options!

Devontae C. Joseph  on  10/15/2015 10:36:37 PM commented:

That Can Help A Lots Of People With The College Some People don't have the money for it

Tiffany S  on  10/14/2015 9:32:03 PM commented:

I don't think it's fair because I wasn't into sports and my dad never allowed me to join extra things because he didn't want to spend any of his money on them. I believe that scholarships should be awarded to other people those who really want them for more knowledge not just to play sports and become pro's even though it's good that they receive them but I'd love the chance to go back to school but I can't afford it and I'm already 25,000 dollars in student debt but I believe anyone should have the chance to gain a scholarship

Derris L.  on  10/14/2015 1:53:27 PM commented:

Giving more money to the athletic department of these schools are not necessary when you are also raising tuition fees. The fact that the athletic program needs money is understandable but what about people who aren't in that program? College debt being a result of financial distribution issues should be taken dealt with and if not, the amount of money that college students will owe is going to increase. This is definitely something that needs to be handled a different way.

Tanya B  on  10/14/2015 12:03:44 PM commented:

Let's not forget what is really driving up tuition . All the students who you and I are actually paying for to go to college. Foreigners, athletes and free loaders. Be real. At least athletes are contributing back .

Leonardo J  on  10/13/2015 11:07:01 PM commented:

I believe it is unfair for the many athletes have better chances of going to good colleges and getting scholarships than other students. With all the many students working hard to get accepted somewhere, it hard to see how it okay fora different student to have three times of a chance than the other student because he knows how to catch a ball.

Destiny M.  on  10/13/2015 11:01:17 PM commented:

Very interesting

Ryan G  on  10/13/2015 10:59:50 PM commented:

Education seems to be more about the "college experience" than education. My university is currently building a multimillion dollar fitness center when there is plenty of grass and free fitness parks that are never used. Our fees increase every semester for non-essentials (bike program, recycling, etc). My opinion is that extras such as athletics should be separate and paid for separately. I've never gone to a sporting event because I am always too busy with work and studies. Schools should let students opt out of costs for things they will never use.

Brittney G.  on  10/13/2015 5:28:32 PM commented:

I might agree with this

Laura G  on  10/13/2015 4:07:22 PM commented:

Not only are the students eager to enter college affected by the issue of athletic programs distorting other areas of education, but also the faculty and staff of the University. Whether it be the most popular, football, or any other sport, a great amount of money goes into uneccesary WANTED items. It is unfair to the students who simply want an entrance for a degree(s) in a specified major to be given a 30% or even 65% tuition raise. Faculty speaking, incomes are lowered since part of the money collected from athletic events is used for the salary of coaches/ directors rather than a raise in proffesor's salaries.

Anthony W McGriff Jr  on  10/13/2015 4:05:08 PM commented:

I'm a freshman I West Virginia state university I would love receive scholarship for football.

Jacqueline B.  on  10/13/2015 3:41:38 PM commented:

Ms. JMB I don't think it's right or fair that the athletic depts. are not taking responsibility for some of the everyday cost of running a university. They use water and electricity just like the rest of the campus. And, coaches don't have to spend as much time at the school so, why should they get paid more than the other teachers who have to work all day. Fees are charged to attend athletic events, so I feel that a portion of that money should go to the university to help with the cost of running the facilities. Then, it would cut down on increases. I'm all for having sports and athletic scholarships but, the rest of the student body should not have to pay higher tuition to help the coaches get wealthy, and to help athletes get big scholarships. While, everyone else struggles, including the teachers who deserve a decent salary.

Cameron Williams  on  10/13/2015 3:28:05 PM commented:

College football is something of an entertainment industry. Why is it that people don't understand this. It should only really affect those who actually go and see the game instead of those who do not.

Claire T.  on  10/13/2015 3:25:22 PM commented:

I believe that athletic programs in school give many scholarships but none nearly pay high enough the amount to pay for their athletic dream. Athletics in college to me leave most students in debt and do not pursue an educational advantage.

Taylor b  on  10/13/2015 3:25:18 PM commented:

Sports are a form of expression. If a school was to take away sports they are also taking away a form of identification and expression for the students

Claire T.  on  10/13/2015 3:24:57 PM commented:

I believe that athletic programs in school give many scholarships but none nearly pay high enough the amount to pay for their athletic dream. Athletics in college to me leave most students in debt and do not pursue an educational advantage.

Wesley Compton  on  10/13/2015 3:16:40 PM commented:

That's kinda how the world works. The entertainment industry is just skyrocketing with the money they make because everyone pays to see it. Athletes and singers are treated like gods now. Kids look at athletes, singers, moviestars as their heroes because their all over the media and that's all they hear about. Even know the doctors, scientists, astronauts, entrepreneurs, etc are our true heroes. The United States overrates and advertises sports way more than other countries. College football isnt made as a college extracurricular activity anymore. It's pretty much it's own business industry like the NFL. But yes, it's getting out of hand.

Briana E.  on  10/13/2015 3:13:11 PM commented:

It's very discouraging to see athletes, especially football players be able to go to any school they want almost scott free without having to worry about money or maintaining GPA's. Then there are those of us that have to find a job to help ease the burden of paying for our college education and still find time to study in order to maintain our GPA in hopes to keep whatever scholarships or financial aid we may have been fortunate enough to receive.

Jerrell W  on  10/13/2015 3:12:01 PM commented:

Would be just happy to be successful with no debts

Jess L  on  10/13/2015 3:04:20 PM commented:

I'm from th south where football is life And I don't think A coach should be paid millions of dollars. I've always said it drives up tuition cost and many people get angry when I point it out

Mel k  on  10/13/2015 3:02:49 PM commented:

americas obsession with football is ridiculous. that's not my opinion, that's the truth.

Mykenzie O.  on  10/13/2015 2:08:37 PM commented:

I definitely believe that having such strong athletic programs that make debts so much higher is ridiculous and students who wish to pursue a higher level education are being ignored.

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