What follows are the lead paragraphs of a lengthy story written by an investigative reporting class at the University of Cincinnati for City Beat. The student reporters included Morgan Batanian, Katie Coburn, Fernanda Crescente, Taylor Jackson, Tyler Kuhnash and Camri Nelson. Research was contributed by Taylor Hayden, Talis Linauts, Kayleigh Murch, Matt Nichols, Malia Pitts and Lauren Smith.
“Kevin Leugers pays the University of Cincinnati to provide him with a quality education.
“The second-year student majoring in marketing and philosophy had no idea officials had quietly funneled tens of millions of dollars from students to the athletic department in recent years to cover the difference between revenue and expenses.
“’It seems to be a corruption of education, in all honesty,’ says Leugers, a University Honors Program student and Kolodzik Business Scholar. ‘Athletics is being given priority over education, over the professors, over the students. I just think that’s wrong.’
“In 2013, UC officials provided the athletic department with a $21.75 million subsidy, records show, using student fees and money from the school’s general fund, which is primarily funded by tuition. The total subsidy amounts to $1,024 out of the pocket of every full-time undergraduate student on UC’s main campus. The four-year price tag costs each student more than $4,000.
“The money represents 20 percent of the $20,000 Leugers plans to borrow to finance his education.
“The athletic department’s four-year hidden tax may very well exceed $4,000 per student. In 2014 the subsidy rose to more than $27 million, a 25-percent increase.
Since 2007, University of Cincinnati trustees and administrators have used more than $127 million in student fees and general fund money to subsidize deficits in the athletic department, according to UC’s NCAA Revenue & Expense reports.
“Thomas Humes, UC’s board chair and a trustee since 2007, says the $127 million sports subsidy is a necessity to keep pace with other programs.
“’I think it is a requirement,” says Humes, a developer and former UC administrator.
Humes says sports are “a good investment for the university as a whole’ and that the board decided every dollar given to the athletic department was money well spent.
‘There has been a decision that whatever that investment number is that it is a positive investment for the university,’ he says. ‘I don’t view it as a concern.’
“The investment certainly brought a high return in 2014 to some UC coaches, particularly compared to the university’s 334 student-athletes. The university provided the students with $5.99 million in scholarship aid, less than 11 percent of the $55.4 million in athletic expenditures, according to UC’s NCAA report.
“That same year, UC paid a dozen coaches on the football and men’s basketball teams more than $10.5 million, 19 percent of total spending. At the top was Tommy Tuberville, UC’s head football coach, who received $3.8 million.”
The entire article is available at: http://citybeat.com/cincinnati/article-32706-robin_hood_in_reverse.html
The article includes serveral very telling graphs and charts.