The blog of Academe Magazine. Opinions published here do not necessarily represent the policies of the AAUP.
Today’s Chicago Tribune has a lengthy front-page article about how the University of Illinois’ general fund subsidizes the athletic program with $920,000 in free tuition waivers for student athletes. The University plans to reduce this number to $500,000 by 2016, but that’s clearly not enough. All universities should, at a minimum, adopt a very simple policy about their athletic programs: Not one dime. There should be absolutely no subsidies for athletic programs. In fact, we should demand the exact opposite: athletic programs ought to be contributing at least 10% of their revenues to general university funds. That’s because athletic programs should pay their fair share of central administration costs, not to mention the fact that athletic programs often draw donors away who might otherwise give money to academic programs. It’s time for faculty and colleges to take control of their own athletic programs and demand that they serve the university rather than draining away resources for non-academic purposes.