“Great research universities tend to have great athletic programs.”

And mid-major schools with shitty football programs tend to charge their students a lot of money to subsidize them.

The Panthers, now in their sixth season, haven’t given fans much reason to celebrate. In the 2013 and 2014 seasons, competing at the highest level of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the team recorded just a single victory. Average attendance last year was among the 10 worst in the NCAA’s top level. Yet Georgia State’s 32,000 students are still required to cover much of the cost. Over the past five years, students have paid nearly $90 million in mandatory athletic fees to support football and other intercollegiate athletics — one of the highest contributions in the country…

… At Georgia State, athletic fees totaled $17.6 million in 2014, from a student population in which nearly 60 percent qualify for Pell Grants, the federal aid program for low-income students. The university contributed an additional $3 million in direct support to its sports programs. All told, those subsidies represented about three-fourths of the athletics budget.

Georgia State is far from an outlier. Last year, sports programs at 47 other public colleges reviewed by The Chronicle and HuffPost were even more dependent on fees and other institutional support as a percentage of their athletic budget.

I’m sure this makes sense to somebody.  I’m just happy I’m not someone who’s taken out student loans to pay for athletic fees.

25 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness

25 responses to ““Great research universities tend to have great athletic programs.”

  1. Just Chuck (The Other One)

    Pet Peeve number 54.7: Public Colleges just look like they are lots cheaper than Private Colleges because all anyone does is compare tuition. Public Colleges charge lots more in fees that Private Colleges.

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    • Normaltown Mike

      public universities are still significantly less expensive b/c they receive massive amounts of support from the…public

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      • Just Chuck (The Other One)

        Some of my friends at UGA tell me they have gone from a state supported university to a state assisted university to a state affiliated university. The legislature has cut funding to the point it really can’t be considered “massive” any more. Since the regents control what they can charge in tuition the only good way to increase revenues it to massively increase enrollment and to up the fees.

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        • gastr1

          That is absolutely the case. Let em tell you a dirty little secret, though:
          NO college, public or private, has ANY INCENTIVE AT ALL to keep tuition and costs down because students and parents overwhelmingly associate high cost with quality.

          In short, keeping rates down= fewer students. This is a fact. Supply & demand is tied closely to cost of attendance, and the more amenities & higher tuition you have, the more students you get.

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          • gastr1

            Or, at least, let me say that a little more precisely: Not presenting the appearance of “quality” through amenities, academics, campus life, high tuition, etc. will result in less interest and fewer applications.

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        • Normaltown Mike

          UVA is seriously considering trying to be a “formerly” state University. Of course, they’ve got a helluva lot more cheese in the till to consider such a move.

          UGA still gets about 25% of the cost of attendance per pupil from the state, which is twice as much as a lot of our peer institutions.

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          • Bulldog Joe

            True. UVA and other universities with well-established schools of medicine generate significant operating revenue through their health systems.

            UGA does not have this revenue stream.

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    • gastr1

      You can keep being peeved, because there is not a public school you can name whose costs are higher than any private school you’ve heard of.

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      • Costs and Price are different things. Makes me a little bit nuts.

        And there are circumstances where a student could pay a lower price (through discounting and merit/need aid) at a private (especially a well-heeled one) than at a public (like, say, Georgia, which does precious little in the way of aid beyond HOPE/Zell unless you’re cream of the crop).

        But that’s uncommon.

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  2. gastr1

    I think the key is in your title comment–GSU would also like to have a more involved (financially and otherwise) alumni base. It’s all about creating a brand over the long haul.

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  3. Scorpio Jones, III

    I have some recent experience with the ah….money grubbers? at Georgia State. It is not just the students who are squished for every dime the school can squish. It is everybody who has ever walked through the front door.

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  4. JCDAWG83

    We are getting close to the tipping point with the schools who don’t make money on athletics. The cost of college is getting out of reach for most people without loans or financial aid. Borrowing money or spending financial aid dollars to prop up a football program is tough to justify.

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  5. paul

    With all the money pouring in from television contracts most folks tend to forget that the vast majority of football programs lose money. In many cases, LOTS of it.

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  6. Maybe the legislature should force Georgia to play them every year. Maybe the fine citizens of Georgia should build them a nice, cozy on-campus stadium.

    Or maybe they could just get sucked off of the planet with UAB?

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    • Silver Creek Doug

      BD, what they want to do is to buy Turner Field once the Braves head to Cobb County and turn it into a 20-30,000 football/baseball stadium.

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    • Bazooka Joe

      You do have a point, kind of… the big schools pay the small schools tons of money to come in and get their ass kicked – why don’t we require that for example Georgia gives those games to Georgia State, Mercer, etc… instead of north/south/west Louisiana ? At least that way you are keeping the money in state.

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  7. W Cobb Dawg

    The kids are getting f#@ked over pretty good. You just know that gravy train is gonna run off the rails. Today’s fees and loan laden student is tomorrow’s wage slave who can’t afford a family or house. All this so GaState can put a POS team on the field. Go panthers!

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    • Will (The Other One)

      Hey now, they have the same number of wins as “historic” Georgia Tech this season (and I will confess to being a little jealous that they get good QB play this season.)

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  8. Russ

    I’ve never understood this. Basketball I can see, because it doesn’t cost nearly as much, and you still have a great chance to get your alumni base involved.

    I’ve got a kid that will be going to college in the foreseeable future and stuff like this really opens my eyes to all the things we’ll have to consider. She could care less about sports so having to help pay for an extra-curricular activity isn’t very attractive. And in many cases, it’s NOT making the school a better place.

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  9. Normaltown Mike

    It’s a good thing the state of Georgia, city of Atlanta, et. al. are going to tear down that rickety death trap Georgia Dome b/c it’s not like there is university or a dozen high schools with 10 miles of that thing that could use it (along with monster truck pulls and Taylor Swift concerts).

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  10. I keep telling ya’ll – it’s those greedy-ass entitled kids that will kill this sport. Not those presidents and AD’s that have made multiple short-sighted cash grabs such as jumping up from FCS to FBS even though they weren’t event competitive in the FCS level because they think the TV $ will never dry up. Perfect analogy is the housing market. Those prices never went down, AMIRITE?

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    • AthensHomerDawg

      Nope the housing boom didn’t last forever. Thank you Fannie and Freddie. I imagine the TV money will slow down. But Mickey ain’t Fannie and Freddie. Maybe being conservative with your spending is not such a bad idea.
      ?

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      • The point being that the AD’s and presidents haven’t thought out far enough to consider the TV money will eventually dry up and instead are spending like drunken sailors on salaries, stadium upgrades, and facilities. Juxtapose that with the folks that argue players potentially being considered employees is what will kill the sport and I have a hearty chortle as they ignore what’s already killing the sport and has been for awhile now.

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  11. Nashville West

    More NCAA stupidity at work. A D-1 hoops school has to have a D-1 football program or no football at all. They ought to let schools like GA State have a D-2 or D-3 football program and play D-1 hoops. Heck of a lot cheaper.

    Is there a single commuter school in a Power 5 conference ?(Que up the jokes about Tech and Auburn)

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