All for T. Boone!

So if it’s not for the money, or to spur applications, or to attract better students [studies show university sports accomplishes none of these things], what is the point of building big college sports programs, primarily football and basketball?

Here’s my unsurprising theory:

There are groups of alumni who are very passionate about their teams. I’m talking very passionate. They go to all the games or watch them on TV; they populate the online fans sites; they obsess over recruiting. They are very vocal when things aren’t going well for State U., and some of them sit on university boards, or in state legislatures, or belong to powerful alumni organizations. While their numbers as a percentage of all alums may not be large, they can make a lot of noise.

If they are UNC fans, they do not like losing to Duke. If they are N.C. State fans, they do not like losing to UNC.

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5 Responses to “All for T. Boone! All for T. Boone!”

  1. GTWMA Says:

    Barkin’s been reading my tweets.

  2. Barbara Says:

    I would like to see a study on the percentage of “barely able to qualify” applications schools get after Bowl or March Madness appearances. I can’t image that a student that picks a school based on team wins is that academically focused.

  3. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Barbara: That’s just what the studies show. Schools boast that because of sports wins their applications go way up – but they fail to mention that the quality of the applications tends to be middling.

  4. dmf Says:

    pfft academically focused that’s what student “retention” efforts (like say grade-inflation) are for, the real question is can they pay much in tuition?

  5. charlie Says:

    The OECD released data recently that indicates that Americans in the age range of 15-24are the worst in science/math achievement of the top 22 industrialized nations. We’re second to the bottom in literacy. No reason exists for the massive influx of college students, other than the big money that comes with loans, campus buildouts, and the profits Wall Street enjoys underwriting the attendant debt for all that waste. That’s why youse gots so much money thrown at athletics, the folks pimpin this nonsense know how the money chain works…

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