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Published: Thursday, May 15 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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ECR
Burke, VA

Excellent letter. Thanks so much for leading me to Mr. Robinson's article as well. Certainly we Americans seem to have a warped sense of priorities when you look at the numbers cited in this letter.

I also appreciate Mr. Robinson's term "athletic arms race. It is a nice segue into another troubling set of priorities. Last years national budget included $640B for Defense and of that amount $220B was spent for military weapons and the research and development for those weapons. In a study done in 1995, the GAO estimated the average cost to bring schools into good repair was $1.7 million each—a national total they pegged at $112 billion ($163 billion in today’s dollars)

So if we put a hold on buying new weapons for just one year - let's say we just used the ones we already have - we could upgrade every school in the country. Every one of them. Wouldn't that be a better use of our tax dollars? Just something to think about.

Midvaliean
MIDVALE, UT

When you can get a Math professor that brings profit to the table along with good teaching then pay that man/woman what they are worth. Coaches have a role, and in our society that role generates money, which is needed at any school. Plus, it's great to stay in shape in state of the art facilities. Take advantage of it.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Excellent point ECR.

It's amazing that our universities have so much money to waste on sports but they are always crying for money for education. Then, they pass the price tag onto the backs of students.

Just like our government has plenty to waste on wars, unsustainable defense spending, foreign handouts, bank bailouts, oil subsidies, and ridiculous congressional pay but don't have enough money for green energy, health care, and education. Again, the price gouging is placed onto the backs of the middle class while the rich get a free pass (just like the athletes).

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

Midvaliean,
most school's sports programs lose money, they don't bring it in.

No, teachers are generally underpaid, especially K-12 teachers. Too much spent on administration, not enough on actual classroom staff

Mark l
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Teacher pay is a function of supply and demand. When the supply of teachers goes up, it is easier to find new teachers willing to work for less. The same thing is true for any profession. In recent years, there is an oversupply of law students graduating, so law firms don't have to pay as much for new labor.

John Charity Spring
Back Home in Davis County, UT

USU should be condemned for what is essentially just another form of left-wing entitlement practice. It is nothing short of taking fromone group (sstudents) and giving to another (athletes).

The students at large neither want nor need this expensive albatross. Yet, they are forced to pay for it: both directly as taxpayers and fee payers, and indirectly by loss of expenditures that should go their way.

This is an example of what is wrong with society as a whole: government taking from the many to give to a favored few.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

@ JCS

If overpaying for football coaches is a "left wing conspiracy" then why are the right wing SEC taker states the ones leading the way in the football arms race? The mere fact that Nick Saban makes in 1 month more than the USU coach and Utah governor do in a year should speak volumes.

Of course, these lil details are ignored by low information repub voters. They're too busy taking the money from producing states so they can live off welfare and cheerlead their football games. Facts never get in the way of the right wing's opinion.

KJB1
Eugene, OR

Yes, John Charity Spring, we all know how much those evil liberals love to take money from education and give it to athletics.

Honestly, do you even know who you're angry at at this point?

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

Our priorities are showing.

Kora
Cedar Hills, UT

Lets put this in perspective. The highest paid surgeons at the U of U, including those performing delicate heart surgeries on newborns who would die otherwise, make less money than the Athletic coaches. So the U feels that the coach for a mediocre team at best is worth more than some of the most highly trained surgeons in the country.
Is the guy who saves your newborn's life really worth less than the football and basketball coaches?

What is really sad is that people will not complain about buying tickets to a football game, but whine about paying a copay to a doctor that costs much less. The fact is that many in society support the pay for the coaches and players, while complaining about the much lower pay of people who actually provide demonstrable benefit to society. And lets be honest, Obama does not decry coach salaries and publicly funded stadiums, but he does think your doctor is overpaid, probably because they are not Union members that pay dues to fund his campaign.

The truth is this, the public should quit funding stadiums for rich sports teams. If these facilities are money makers, they will pay for themselves.

Midvaliean
MIDVALE, UT

@ Lost in DC
It seems like common knowledge that sports generate money. Please share with us how you came by these facts that sports teams lose money for the school. I'm sure there are exceptions but statistically, sports are a net gain for most schools.

Flashback
Kearns, UT

Most of these facilites, at least in Utah are built with private donations. I agree that they are a little much, but athletics are a big business and those that don't have the facilities don't succeed in the business. Just think what the whining and crying would be if Brad Rock proposed the same outcome for U of U sports that he said could possibly happen to BYU sports. People would freak. I wasn't too happy when Ricks did away with their athletic program when they went to 4 year status. But life does go on.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

Midvaliean,
from USA today (sorry, it is alittle dated) "the number of schools able to cover their athletic expenditures fell to 14 in 2009, down from 25 the previous year" Only 7 met that benchmark in each of the prior 5 years.

the chronicle of higher education reported in 2010 only 22 schools actually made a profit, 98 other BFS schools lost an average of $11.6 million.

for all the money raked in by the football and men's basketball, women's gymnastics (at the U) you have swimming, women's basketball, track and field, soccer,field hockey, etc that lose a ton of money.

RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

@lost in DC;

When did you get so liberal?

Anti Bush-Obama
Chihuahua, 00

When people start paying money to watch people take tests and televise them, then things will change.

Midvaliean
MIDVALE, UT

@Lost In DC
Thanks for providing that. I think what we can gleen from that data is SOME schools can and do succeed at sports being profitable. Then you have schools who wish they were the profitable schools. A school will benefit most when they recognize their strengths (which may be sports) and put their money where it will count the most. Trick is getting people to recognize that.

RedShirtCalTech
Pasedena, CA

To "Bob Koenig" if you don't like it when a wealty person buys an athletic building for a college, how about you go and donate a few million for an educational facility for the same university?

Who are you to dictate how somebody else spends their money? Do you also think that wealthy people shouldn't be allowed to own large homes, fancy cars, or go on vacations that are better than yours?

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

RanchHand,
I have ALWAYS supported education. It is a conservative thing to do, give people the skills to be self-reliant and personally responsible.

Midvaliean,
sorry I could not get more current information, but most websites just give revenues and did not include expenses. The numbers may have changed with recent conference realignment and the mega-TV deals being signed as a result, but those contracts only impact schools in the 5 power conferences - all the little guys are left out.

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