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Simons' Saturday Column: Focus on sports, athletes has gotten out of whack

Finally a Dolph Simon's editorial with which I can agree (whether his paper makes him look like a hypocrite or not).
KiferGhost is right - privatize bigtime athletics and move it off campus. If their employees (i.e. the athletes) want to take classes they can, but they would not have to do so. Let the privatized athletic corporation rent the KU name and pay royalties to the university, which will mean more money for academics than the university currently gets from the athletic corporation.
Is it possible to rearrange university priorities? Not as long as chancellors and others think that the athletic corporation and its supporters are more important than academics and all those alumni who really don't care that much about big time sports. If the latter group of alumni, which I suspect is much larger than does the Chancellor, announced their intention to withhold any future contributions to the university until the priorities are straightened out, then something might happen.

January 19, 2013 at 3:46 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Squares ruining athletics

Most of those donations go to the athletic corporation! So the academic part of the university would not lose much, and would gain by getting royalty payments.

September 4, 2011 at 3:38 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Squares ruining athletics

The problem with intercollegiate athletics is that the chancellors et al are not running the programs. Instead they are being run by the athletic directors and people like Boone Pickens.

The chancellors and presidents abdicated their responsibilities when they allowed the athletic corporations at their respective universities to abscond with all the revenues from TV contracts and bowl games. And these realignments are nothing more than those same corporations trying to get more money so they can pay their coaches and assistant coaches even higher salaries.

The chancellors should as a group take back control by taking back control of the money and run these programs the same way they run the English department, and pay salaries accordingly. Academic advisors in the athletic programs should not be paid 5 times as much as those in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences.

If they can't take the money back, then these corporations should be put off campus and allowed to operate as the businesses they are, and let the conferences operate as the minor leagues they are for professional football and basketball. But, in this new arrangement they would have to pay royalties to the universities for use of the university name and logo; they would pay rent for use of the stadium and fieldhouse; and they would pay property taxes, sales taxes and income taxes on their profits. And they could pay their employees (now called student athletes) whatever they were worth. And those employees could be students if they chose to, as there would be a university in their back yard.

The greatest gain from this is that academics would become the top priority for univesities once again.

September 4, 2011 at 12:59 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

What conference should KU join?

This realignment episode is a great time to straighten things out. Somehow the Athletic Corporations are now directing the universities, and this is the time for chancellors and presidents to take back control of the university and the athletic corporations.

This realignment - as well as big time intercollegiate athletics in general - is about money. So, chancellors of all major universities should say NO! No realignments will occur until each athletic corporation agrees to give the chancellor of their university 50 percent of the gross revenues from tv contracts and bowl revenues. Then they can negotiate rent for the stadium and fieldhouse, and perhaps better wages for the student-athletes.

Alternatively, they could put all these corporations off-campus and let them operate a minor league franchise, paying substantial royalties to use the name of the University as the team name. And cities can collect sales taxes on the corporations sales.

June 12, 2010 at 12:26 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Athletic systems broken

There is one major flaw in Budig's proposal. The $130 or $190 million would somehow end up going to KU Athletics Inc. and the university would still be no better off.

The university and the NCAA have a better solution if they care to use it. Treat these athletic corporations as the independent corporations they are. But, charge them for the use of the university's name, logo and mascot - and athletic facilities if they choose to use them. Because they will still be using the university's name, logo and mascot, everyone will still think they are affiliated with the university and continue to support them.

As a separate business these corporations would be able to hire student athletes if they wanted to, or just hire the best players. Those corporations can negotiate with the NBA and NFL for financial support for their minor league activities. The universities would not have to worry whether they lost money or made a fortune.

There are many benefits to this scheme. The athletes would likely be better paid then they are now, and those who did not want to go to classes would not have to. The city and state would be better off, because the corporations would finally have to pay corporate income taxes, sales taxes, and property taxes And the university would be better off as well. There would be no disgraceful situations in which assistant athletic coaches are paid more than full professors. More importantly, the funds they pay for use of the name and logo would be more financial support than they have paid in the past, and the university could use it for academic purposes. They could even use it to provide fellowships for minority students who are academically strong, but who don't have a good jump shot.

May 24, 2009 at 4:02 p.m. ( | suggest removal )