Archive for Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Need is now

January 26, 2010


News story after news story out of Topeka tells us of the severe fiscal condition facing the state and the programs and activities that state tax dollars help finance.

With education taking the biggest bite out of the state tax pie, there is justification for all those interested in or employed by an educational institution to be extremely concerned about how public schools and the state’s higher education system will be impacted.

This certainly is the case at Kansas University. Cuts already have been made throughout the university, and officials now say further cuts will be damaging and will dig into the muscle of the school. It’s very serious.

And yet, KU athletic officials appear intent on pushing ahead on construction of a luxury seating area atop the east side of KU’s Memorial Stadium so major contributors can sit in comfortable seats, have a drink and watch the KU football team.

Are there any priorities at KU?

Athletic department officials tried to justify the $34 million project by saying that, after it was built, they would contribute $40 million to the university’s academic program. How long will it take for the Gridiron Club to become profitable, and over how many years will the proposed $40 million be paid?

How about paying the $40 million this year to help meet the school’s present needs? Or maybe starting now to pay $10 million a year for the next four years? The need is now, not down the road.

Such a plan might meet with far more approval than a pledge to contribute $40 million over “X” number of years, starting “X” number of years from now.

A plan dealing with present needs would justify the chancellor’s support.


anon1958 8 years, 1 month ago

Just start taxing the luxury suites and tickets to games. The athletic departments at KU and KSU obviously have millions to spare in order to pay ex-coaches not to do their jobs.

The idea that these programs really benefit the academic mission is just a sham anyway, Im hoping the economy and incompetence of the Kansas legislature will eventually cause enough pain to bring some financial and ethical reform to college athletics. We just need that first dam to break and then hope for a cascade (yeah, I know it is a faint hope).

KU_cynic 8 years, 1 month ago

Well, the short answer is KUAC doesn't have the money to pay the delusional academic dividend promised at the launch of the Gridiron Club idea.

The math never added up from the start, and the dividend to academics was way down the list after the "Olympic Village".

Here's a blood simple idea: for every $100 raised by KUAC in ticket sales, donations, and media revenues $25 goes back to the academic fund . . . starting in FY 2011. Unleash Lew and the gang to raise as much dough as they can, but they can't keep it all.

grimpeur 8 years, 1 month ago

"How about paying the $40 million this year to help meet the school’s present needs? Or maybe starting now to pay $10 million a year for the next four years? The need is now, not down the road."

Damn straight.

Phillbert 8 years, 1 month ago

So, let me try and interpret this editorial.

The Gridiron Club shouldn't be built. But the money that was only going to be generated by building the Gridiron Club should somehow be paid to KU, without the club being built?

I look forward to Dolph's next column: "Pay your mortgage with money from a job you don't have yet, and shouldn't take anyway."

SnakeFist 8 years, 1 month ago

I don't understand the relationship between the various entities and would appreciate some clarification. Is it the case that KU owns the stadium, owns the team, and owns the licensing rights, but somehow some or all revenue is diverted to KU Athletics, a private corporation? People often argue that coaches' salaries, for example, are not paid by KU but by the private corporation, but, aside from private donations, shouldn't the money have gone to KU to begin with?

smarty_pants 8 years, 1 month ago

So, okay, KUAC is private and separate from KU, but why is it a non-profit and donors get tax breaks? Seems to me it's a for-profit business. Can anybody explain? Is it non-profit educational? I wouldn't think so. Non-profit philanthropical? Non-profit religious? Don't think those fit either. Does anybody know what its non-profit status is?

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