“We eat what we kill.”

You know, I’ve never advocated governmental action as a remedy for the NCAA’s excesses – that whole “cure being worse than the disease” thing’s in the back of my head – but I’m not going to tell you I find Sally Jenkins’ post on the subject unconvincing.

How can you not share in a bit of her righteous indignation when she makes points like this?

At Florida State, salaries for non-coaching administrators rose from $7.7 million to $15 million. That’s the raise the Seminoles athletic staff gave itself for running up a deficit of $2 million while presiding over an academic fraud scandal involving 10 teams and mishandling criminal allegations against football players. This is a state school and a recipient of federal funds.

Or this?

Example: Rutgers is $36.3 million in the red. In 2006, it pled necessity in cutting a half-dozen sports. Yet at the same time, Rutgers was spending $175,000 on hotel rooms for six home football games — more than the entire budget of the eliminated men’s tennis team.

This, too?

You think Auburn administrators are going to eliminate the 15 athletic department jobs they created in the past decade that pay more than $100,000 each annually? You think Tennessee Athletic Director Dave Hart is going to cut away the extra $150,000 a year he makes for “media appearances” (When is the last time anyone asked to see an athletic director on TV?) to save a non-revenue team?

These folks are already behaving like government officials.  They just get to operate without any real oversight.

Throw in a standard dose of institutional arrogance, and while I can’t quite bring myself to cross the bridge she’s taken…

For too long, college athletic directors and their pipe-tamping bosses in the chancellors’ offices have pretended that NCAA reform is difficult, if not impossible. It isn’t. Reform is simple. Athletic departments should be subjected to the same budgetary constraints as any other university department — by law. All Congress has to do is threaten their federal funding and tax-exempt status, and you will see plenty of reform, presto. The chair of an engineering department is not permitted to spend indiscriminately, so why should athletic directors be able to — especially when they siphon university money away from other departments to cover their overdrafts?

… I can’t bring myself to criticize her for going there, either.  Who knows, maybe all it will take is the threat of regulation to make schools and the NCAA see the light… eh, who am I kidding here?  If there’s one thing you can say about those people, they won’t do anything until they absolutely have to.

And even when they do, it’ll be the bare minimum.

11 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

11 responses to ““We eat what we kill.”

  1. Argondawg

    Well at least we know that Tech isn’t part of the arms race. $2000 a year? It makes more sense to go to Georgia Southern + the coeds are a lot more attractive + Going to a bowl game. Anybody know if Georgia Southen gives a stipend?

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  2. John Denver is full of shit...

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  3. Macallanlover

    Truly awful what athletic departments are doing in managing the windfall of money that has hit them, very similar to unsophisticated lottery winners, imo. But you could make a strong case that there is even less oversight in government from the voters and media these days. Both are spiraling (have spiraled) out of control, pick your poison.

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  4. Dog in Fla

    “The chair of an engineering department is not permitted to spend indiscriminately, so why should athletic directors be able to — especially when they siphon university money away from other departments to cover their overdrafts?”

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  5. ‘I’ve never advocated governmental action as a remedy for the NCAA’s excesses”

    Technically aren’t these actually University excesses? How much further in the hole will Aubarn go when they fire the Gus bus for losing 63-0 on Saturday?

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  6. Gaskilldawg

    If I was dictator for a week I would deny these athletic departments tax exempt status.

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  7. Scorpio Jones, III

    My experience in the government arena tells me the concern with and documentation of spending our money is admirable. The money still gets spent, most of the time, but at least there is a paper trail (of biblical proportions).

    My question is simple. What would the government do? Other than more strict enforcement of title nine regulations, I suppose.

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  8. W Cobb Dawg

    By jingo, something needs to be done about this.

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  9. AusDawg85

    NCAApocalypse Now. The Senator goes upriver in country to hunt the crazed Demi-God AD’s. The horror….the horror.

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  10. 92 grad

    Well, if I think about this kind of stuff too much it makes me want to shoot things. The money obviously is largely protected through athletic associations, right? All they have to do is find a way to legally redirect all the money into the state budget (school budget).

    I understand that the head coaches and coordinators can get paid a few million, but those 6 figure salaries are blatant strategies to liquidate cash, otherwise, they would have too much surplus and red flags would really be flying.

    I know it’s impossible, but the right thing to do is take what you need and give the rest to the university. Pay the employees well, but not so excessive that it screams “we gotta get rid of all this money or somebody is gonna start gettin some crazy ideas”. I’m pretty dang sure that nobody that works in the association offices could justify a salary over $200k, very few over $100k.

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