Saturday, March 17, 2012

March Madness or Cheerleading Beats Reporting Again

Once again, you can read lots of discussions about college athletics.  Some say the athletes need to be paid.  Others say the NCAA is too greedy.    Where are the business reporters?

In a globally competitive economy, what are the implications for this country when the highest paid public employee in state after state is either a basketball or football coach?   Follow the money.

In smaller Division I universities like Kent State where the athletic department is a multimillion dollar budget hole that gets plugged by charging fees to the academic students, does it make sense that the department that spends the most on recruiting students and provides the most full scholarships is the athletic department?

Come on business reporters.  Come on education reporters.   Go interview the rubber stamp boards of trustees that are supposed to provide oversight.  Do they agree with putting athletics first and academics second?  

The full-scholarship scoreboard produced by a couple of my reporting students a few semesters ago is worth another look.   Are these scores acceptable in a globally competitive economy?

When it comes to the financial stress on college budgets caused by ever-increasing athletic salaries and costs for smaller Division I schools, it's time to put down the pom poms and pick up the pens.   If we're concerned about education, if we're concerned about strengthening Ohio's economy, it's time to stop cheerleading and to start reporting.     
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