Last week’s column, “University budgets favor athletes” by Matthew Kenyon, disregarded the value of sports to universities.
1) Sports provide a platform to advertise. Commercials regarding WSU academics usually take place during a WSU sporting event. This gives the school an advertising platform regardless of whether it correlates with enrollment.
2) Sports provide local jobs in college towns. Sports management student’s complete internships, sports medicine students get the opportunity to practice in real life scenarios. Coaches, media representatives, trainers, team doctors, officials, event staff security, EMTs, police officers and even janitors get money to support themselves and their families from college sporting events.
3) Sports fans will not donate money to libraries if we abolish college sports. Sure, there are people who donate large amounts of money to academics, but people want entertainment in their lives too. Your problem here is with peoples’ donation priorities, not with university budgets.
4) During the last three expansions of the football stadium, nine academic or residence buildings have been added to the WSU campus or are currently under construction.
5) What we would do for fun in Pullman if there were no sports?
Students choose a school for a myriad of reasons, and sports probably pull more students than number of libraries. Even if they were in the same budget category, college sports programs are more complicated than deciding whether we want to build a new library or a new football operations building.
Andrew Child, Graduate Student
School of the Environment