Hey dean, do me a favour and pick up those jocks, will ya?

I have no problem with athlete salaries. I know people complain about someone getting paid a magillion dollars to slap a puck or throw a ball, but it’s simple: thousands and thousands of people will pay good money to watch that player perform, or wear their jersey, or buy their sneakers, or whatever. Owners of sports franchises can do math, and will pay players an amount they think they can recoup in these ways. Sure, some teams will pay extravagant and undeserved amounts for players out of desperation (cough Jeff Finger cough), but for the most part sports franchises pay players enough to help them accomplish their goal: to entertain and turn a profit.

Universities, though, are not sports franchises. They’re supposed to be institutions of higher learning, and therefore this bothers me:

[Via Greg Mankiw]

0 responses to “Hey dean, do me a favour and pick up those jocks, will ya?

  1. Aha .. there is a flaw in your argument. You are making the assumption that those folks on the bench are there because of their academic abilities.

    Think of university sports as outsourced revenue generation, take two aspirin, along with a stiff lagavulin accompanied by some natural Islay water, and you will feel much better in the morning.

  2. No no, I didn’t make that assumption at all. I know they’re not. But I do make the assumption that a university is there mainly (though probably not entirely) for academic pursuits.

    I could swallow this if I thought that football programs brought so much revenue to colleges that they could easily afford to pay these coaches and still have enough to subsidize student tuition, community outreach programs, and so on. But I doubt that’s the case. I suspect these are, as you say, revenue grabs. Americans happen to be obsessed with college football and colleges are raking it in.

    Now where’s that Aspirin?

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