And why, wonders this University of Central Florida administrator, doesn’t our university have the same draw? Why doesn’t anybody come to our football games? Why can’t he swell with UCF pride at the same full attendance he sees at aquariums and amusement parks? “I … cringe when our football team is featured on national TV because the camera might pan up beyond the lower bowl or near the end zone, where seats are often empty.” The university has more than done its bit – it shuts down classes altogether when there’s a big game, for instance…
But here’s the thing about Central Florida University. Empty its football stands might be, but the school itself – qua school, if you know what I mean – is insanely overcrowded, with extensive reliance on massive lecture halls, online courses, PowerPoint automata instead of teachers, etc., etc. In fact, UCF is one of University Diaries’ online makeover schools, universities she believes should simply accept reality and shut down their physical campus.
Given the nature of UCF, would you go to a football game there if you were a student? What do you suppose this high-security (cheating and cameras are rampant) dystopia means to the typical student? A place to pick up a degree, sure. But little more.
Yet why, the UCF administrator asks, do students not understand that
the university’s investment in athletic programs and student-athletes is an important part of UCF’s move to enhance its brand and image, and full support by fans can be a major contributor to that end.
It’s the same deal at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, which is about to build a billion dollar football stadium:
[The university’s president] tied the stadium project to UNLV’s larger aspiration of becoming a top-tier research university.
What is there about spending all our money on sports will make us a great intellectual institution that these people don’t understand??