12/11 - Athletics vs. Academics: College Sports in Louisiana

How do Louisiana universities strike a balance between educational missions and the non-academic nature of college sports?

As the Bowl Games gear up, “Louisiana Public Square” explores college athletics in December. How do Louisiana universities strike a balance between educational missions and the non-academic nature of college sports? What oversight do student athletes get and should they be paid? Do college sports pull scarce resources from academic programs or attract alumni support? Watch “Athletics vs. Academics: College Sports In Louisiana” Wednesday, December 28th at 7 pm on LPB HD.

Backgrounder

On November 5th, the nationally-ranked #1 Louisiana State University football team beat #2 Alabama, by a score of 9 to 6 in overtime. The victory was viewed by the second-largest television audience for a regular season college football game since CBS started keeping records in 1987. It was watched by 11.5% of all households. ESPN estimates that 27.3 million viewers will watch The BCS National Championship game which will feature an LSU vs. Alabama rematch on January 9, 2012.

With national television exposure, has come a growing commercialization of college sports. The recent 14-year broadcast deal for the March Madness college basketball championship with CBS will generate $771 million per year for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) – the governing body for intercollegiate sports. This is almost 50 times as much as the contract from 1982. These moneys are distributed to Division I schools based on number of sports, scholarships and performance. The Southeastern Conference (SEC) alone will receive 825 million dollars for a 15 year contract with CBS. Thanks in part to this type of media income, LSU’s football program generated over $43 million in profit for fiscal year 2010, the 6th most profitable in the country.

Some fear the financial success has come at the expense of academics. A June 2010 report by the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics showed that 2008 median spending on athletes was 6 times more than the money invested in academics for equivalent full-time students. But a study by the National College Players Association found that the average Division I athlete on a “full scholarship ends up having to pay nearly $3,000 out-of-pocket annually, leaving 85% of players living below the federal poverty line.” So, do college athletic programs pull scarce resources from academic programs or attract students and alumni support? Should student athletes be paid? How do Louisiana universities strike a balance between athletics vs. academics?

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Our Panelists:

This program was also funded in part by the Louisiana Forestry Association

We want to know your opinion! Leave your comments in the box below.


Student atheletic should be give a stipend pay for playing college sports. When

those very same children generate millions of dollars for the college and coaches are getting paid millions and millions of dollars. And those young children can not purchase a hamburger at the end of a week long pratice. Or the univierties may set aside an endowment when the students complete college. Allow the student to cash out the endowment after the student have complete all required subjects and have graduated an have not made it to the pros they can use the endowment funds to start up a small business. And for the ones that make it to the pros they can reward an underpriliged student start up funds in order to enter college for those who may not recive an athletic scholarship. The players spend many hours training.  Were is the compensation for said students. Somebody have to look out for the students. Remember Penn State Univiersity. Everyone was more concern about the image of the university and not the student.

Posted by Rickey hardy  on  12/28  at  09:26 PM

Enjoyed the program.  However, the panel was over-weighted towards the LSU point of view and perspective.  Perhas a follow-up show could be done with audience members from Lafayette, Lake Charles, Ruston and Monroe where there are other universities that compete in NCAA sanctioned sports.  The views outside of the Baton Rouge beltway might be of interest to your viewers. It would also be interesting to have a faculty member from one of these schools on the panel or in the audience as that brings in another point of view.  Note:  The Asst Athletic Director in charge of Compliance at UL Lafayette is an expert in this area—Dr Jessica Clarke Leger.
Keep up the good work.
Dr Lise Anne Slatten

Posted by Dr Lise Anne Slatten  on  12/28  at  11:31 PM

I forgot the name of the gentleman from Southern university who stated,this is an adlib; “College level athlectics was about teaching the athlete to be better with his choice of athlectics.” I must disagree totally, If it is not about the money, how come I can’t go and watch games live for free? Is it because of the supply and demand theory and not being able to accomodate the numbers that would like to go? Some of us just do not have the income to fork out to be able to see LSU in Tiger Stadium!Of course this is a ridiculous thought because I know ther must be some form of payment for the liabilities universities would be resposible for, then there is maintaince and all sorts of categories to make LSU a successful Athletic program. But, Could you not just pull basck on the reigns a bit of the cost per game to the fans?

Posted by John Ryals  on  12/29  at  07:59 AM

Most of the discussion on tonight’s program centered around the major university sprots programs of football and basketball. Little attention was given to the other sports programs sponsored by each institution and their impact on the student, university and community. One issue discussed delt with whether or not to ‘pay’ athlets for their services with arguments centere around the time involved and the income generated by the sports program for the univerity. Only two (2) sports programs generate enough revenue to support the programs operation and those are football and basketball. If a student receives a ‘scholarship’, whether or not it is sports related or academic related, that indivdual is being ‘paid’ to perform within that program. No additional ‘salary’ should be provided for any athletic participation because that would errode the academic integrety of the institutions and destroy the academic purpose of both academic programs and supporting athletic programs. Look at the broader ramifications of the ‘pay for play’ debate rather than the short term issues.

Posted by Dan Carr  on  12/29  at  10:57 AM

Athletics vs Academics::; About College Athletic Players getting Paid…. College Athletic Players are getting Paid with a Scholar Ship.. End of Subject

Posted by James baudoin  on  01/11  at  12:40 PM

They get a free education, the best parking, priority scheduling, special priviledges…the list of perks goes on and on.  College athletes get plenty of compensation as it is. 

When it comes to Academics Vs. Athletics, academics should always come first.  If keeping an academic program means cutting funding for a college team, then so be it.  Get rid of the sport and bring it back when it can be funded.  Maybe once the program is gone, former athletes will get into a more maketable degree program than general studies.

Posted by Wilmer Roe  on  01/27  at  03:27 PM
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