add the lottery money, the arena garage, the $1 jock box land giveaway, …

10/8/2010: UO athletics brings in about $70 million. They pay about $14 million to the coaches and the AD. This is not enough for them, so they want the regular students and the taxpayers to write a blank check for the jock box operations – about $2 million this year. To top it off, they want to claim they are self-supporting, so that people don’t ask tough questions.

With her latest reporting, Rachel Bachman of the Oregonian is not making it easy for them. There are now over 100 comments. It’s surprising and disappointing to see Provost Jim Bean quoted as favoring this subsidy. He should be fighting for the academic side. Someone in our administration needs to:

For the better part of a decade, University of Oregon officials have touted the athletic department’s economic self-sufficiency, a rarity in the world of big-time college sports. But for at least nine years, athletics has used hundreds of thousands of dollars annually from the university’s general fund to cover the cost of academic support for athletes, according to files obtained by The Oregonian.

The general fund has paid nearly $8.5 million over the past nine years for academic support for athletes, which includes exclusive tutoring and counseling, increasing sixfold from less than $300,000 in 2002-03 to a budgeted $1.8 million this academic year. …

Jim Bean, Oregon’s senior vice president and provost, who also oversees academic support for athletes, said it is appropriate for the university to pay for academic support for athletes, and honest for the school to maintain that athletics is self-sufficient despite that support. 

“I actually insist that that be funded from the academic side to make sure that we have the right academic control,” said Bean, who oversees academic support for athletes.

Bean said that because a large majority of Oregon athletes come from out of state, the athletic department pays more tuition for them on average than the average non-athlete student pays, effectively offsetting the cost of athletes’ academic support.

But that is not how two other prominent athletic departments who claim self-sufficiency operate. The University of Michigan and the University of Kentucky pay out-of-state tuition for out-of-state athletes, spokesmen said. This year they will use athletic funds to pay $1.5 million and $1.8 million, respectively, for academic support for athletes, with heads of those support programs reporting jointly to an academic leader and to the school’s athletic director. …

At the recent faculty leadership meeting I asked Rob Mullens if he had any plans to start using athletic department revenues to fund need-based student scholarships, as he had done at Kentucky. He just stared at me. Whoops, I thought, my bad, I get it. You only did that at Kentucky because the president there told you you had to. So President Lariviere must have told you …

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