Category Archives: Political Wankery

Must (Ess Eee) See TV

By the way, make sure you read the second story in the piece about LSU football to which I just posted the link.  It’s the quintessential story of financial life at P5 schools in today’s South.

Think because LSU’s athletic department pays all of its own bills that the slashing and burning of higher education funding isn’t going to affect the Tigers?

Think again.

LSU announced Tuesday the construction of its long-anticipated Tiger Athletics Nutrition Center will be postponed indefinitely.

Construction on it was supposed to begin in April. But because of the unseemliness of building another athletic palace while the academic side of the university is crumbling, the athletic department has decided to postpone said construction for now.

The athletic department has raised the money. That’s not the problem. The nutrition center will get built eventually. The problem is building a four-star restaurant while your neighbor is struggling to pay for his groceries.

Image, as they say, is everything.

Most SEC schools have or have plans to build a nutrition center. Oregon already has a fancy one, which bears a sign over the serving line that encourages Ducks athletes to “Eat Your Enemies – And The Other Food Groups.”

Whether LSU’s athletes truly need a dedicated nutrition facility is a matter for worthwhile debate another time. But what isn’t debatable is that Louisiana’s lack of commitment to higher education is starting to impact whether LSU will be able to land some high-profile commitments in a tangible, brick and mortar way.

SEC athletic programs are rolling in dough.  The schools they’re affiliated with, well, that’s another story.  LSU is in a worse case situation, exacerbated by Jindal’s ideology trumping competency, but there’s little doubt that, across the region, there is less and less financial support for public institutions coming from state government.

And while this story is about not rubbing people’s faces in the athletic department’s prosperity, the underlying message is that these schools need money to run and that won’t change in the face of public funding drying up. Schools have no choice but to go where the money is coming in, and in the SEC that’s television.  Every bit helps, and the presidents whom Slive answers to know that.  So don’t expect any moves that would endanger the cash cow. They literally can’t afford that.

35 Comments

Filed under Political Wankery, SEC Football

Thursday morning buffet

Perhaps you’ll find something nourishing here.

58 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Political Wankery, Science Marches Onward, SEC Football, Stats Geek!, The NCAA

“You can’t have the animals running the zoo in a college education.”

Pat Fitzgerald thinks it was a tragedy that he had to spend time “educating” his seniors about unionization.

It sure would have been a lot easier if somebody would have just made it illegal. Then you wouldn’t have to spend any time explaining yourself.

8 Comments

Filed under Look For The Union Label, Political Wankery

Mommy, make the bad schools share!

Boy, this is subtle.

In a meeting with the editorial board of the Houston Chronicle, Tilman Fertitta, chairman of UH’s Board of Regents, suggested that the Texas state legislature should pressure and/or threaten the Big 12 into giving UH a spot in the conference.  And by suggested I mean he just flat-out said it.

“Put pressure on the presidents; say, ‘If you don’t do this, we’re not going to fund you for this,’” Fertitta said of the state legislature’s role in meeting his goal. “It’s just the way it is. That’s the way to do it. …

“Be a big boy, step up and put this school that has almost 50,000 students and is so high-profile, has so many of the top schools in the United States, it’s a tier one university — we belong in the Big 12. We’re a big, major school with an unbelievable history in athletics and academia.”

The Texas legislature can’t even get Texas and Texas A&M on the same field anymore, but it’s gonna wade into this?  Sure it will.

Perhaps if ol’ Tilman availed himself of his school’s resources and learned that more Big 12 schools are located outside the state of Texas than inside he wouldn’t sound like such a dope.

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Filed under Big 12 Football, General Idiocy, Political Wankery, Texas Is Just Better Than You Are.

“Stop mixing politics in with college football,” you said.

Talk to the politicians.

(h/t Doc Saturday)

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Filed under Political Wankery

Thanks, Obama!

Stuck inside the POTUS’ latest budget proposal is this (h/t):

Obama’s budget proposal sent to Congress Monday would end the deduction available to some fans for donations they make to get seats at college sporting events. This is a new proposal by the administration.

By closing what the White House calls a loophole in the system, people would pay about $2.5 billion over the next decade in higher taxes. Currently, college sports fans can deduct 80 percent of the cost of such donations.

It’s not going to be the taxpayer who’s going to be screaming about this.  It’s the schools.

While some alumni and fans would give money to schools regardless of tax benefits, ending the deduction would hurt revenue at some sports programs, said Robert Spielman, a senior tax partner at Marcum LLP who advises high-net-worth clients.

Some U.S. colleges use the tax benefit to generate more revenue from sports. They set a price for season tickets and then demand donations in the hundreds or thousands of dollars on top of that cost as a condition of the sale. Part of the pitch is that fans can claim the expense as a charitable deduction when they itemize their tax return.

Required Donations

At certain universities, fans can’t buy tickets unless they make a donation, and at other schools the donations help people get premium seating on the 50-yard line.

One athletic department that uses the donation is the University of Louisville, whose men’s basketball team made $40.5 million in revenue in 2013-2014, about $15 million more than the next closest program.

Louisville requires a donation to the Cardinal Athletic Fund for most of its season tickets — contributions that range from $2,500 to $250 a seat. Of the university’s $40.5 million in men’s basketball revenue, $21.7 million come from donations, according to the school’s annual report to the NCAA.

Yeah, that could leave a mark.

Given the make up of the current Congress, it’s not like Obama’s budget proposal is going anywhere soon.  But as a marker for how the President feels about college athletics administration, it’s worth keeping in the back of your mind when the NCAA gets serious about lobbying for that antitrust exemption it’s shuffling towards.

125 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery

But don’t ever take sides with anyone against the Family again.

Alabama state Rep. Jack Williams, time will tell whether you’re brave or foolish.

8 Comments

Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, Political Wankery, Whoa, oh, Alabama