Colleges Gone Wild

USA Today

has done a public service by investigating what NCAA schools spend on athletic programs. Among the findings, several Virginia universities support athletic programs through mandatory fees. Six schools — Radford, James Madison, Norfolk State, Longwood and VMI were mentioned by name — charged $1,000 or more in the 2008-2009 school year.

Given the increasing unaffordability of college education and the mounting debts that students take on to pay for it, this nonsense must end. If students want to support athletic programs, let them do so voluntarily — by buying tickets to athletic events. If that means colleges support fewer athletic programs, then so be it. Our institutions of higher education need to themselves of the purpose of higher education: To friggin’ educate students, not amuse the alumni!

Check out the searchable database on how much Virginia institutions spend and where the money comes from. A couple of highlights:

The University of Virginia’s athletic programs: $63.6 million in operating expenses, supported by $11.9 million in student fees.

Virginia Tech’s athletic programs: $58.9 million in operating expenses, supported by $6.4 million in student fees.

For less money Tech gets stronger football and basketball teams? Now, there’s an outrage!

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35 responses to “Colleges Gone Wild”

  1. Jim – you have met the enemy and…..

    this STARTS in High School.

    we use taxpayer money to provide "sports" opportunities – not to every kid – not to show every kid how to compete –

    NOPE – we provided taxpayer money to provide those with innate talent – special opportunities not made available to other kids.

    If learning how to compete is an important tool to learn then why do we exclude 98% of the kids from being taught those skills?

    The kids who MOST NEED to be taught how to compete are the ones who are not the most talented and will have to rely on their other skills and what they need is to be taught how to compete – and to recognize that talent alone will not get them success – and that, in fact, hard work and a complete "package" is how to succeed in life.

    And yet, our schools are using taxpayer money for competitive athletics for only some kids.

    I'm in favor of making competitive sports – totally user fee supported – and not during school hours.

    If you want to play – then you pay.

    What we teach during school hours – and pay for with taxpayer monies should be intramural sports – that explicitly includes every single kid – to teach each one to be the best they can be – with the talent they have.

    Our Public schools have been co-opted into athletic camps for the privileged few – at taxpayer expense… and .. that system feeds and encourages the colleges…

    it's a totally corrupt and corruptive system… that demonstrates how folks who claim to be fiscal conservatives.. can't even tell the difference as to what that means – when it comes to school athletics.

    People are totally confused as to what constitutes REAL fiscal conservatism…these days.

  2. James A. Bacon Avatar
    James A. Bacon

    Larry, I would have to agree with you: The problem starts in high school. Our high schools face the same choices as our colleges. What is their mission, to educate or produce athletes?

    I've got nothing against athletics. There are some kick-ass municipal and privately run athletic programs for those who want to engage in them. Here in Henrico, the Tuckahoe Little Little program is superb. But only a tiny fraction of high school athletes will end up making a living playing sports. Every high school kid will, to some degree or another, make a living using their mind.

  3. CALL THE LAW!!!!!!

    Jim Bacon and I…. AGREE!!!

    I'm all for team sports also but not at taxpayer expense.

    And.. it's not just one sport at the more affluent (higher taxed) places and it's not just high school – it extends into Middle School.

    What I object to the most is the exclusionary nature of these particular kinds of competitive sports – paid for by the parents of the kids who are excluded – as well as the taxpayers who are funding programs that exclude kids – perhaps the kids who most need to be taught how to compete because they are not lucky enough to be physically talented "enough".

    These days in many schools – it's all about the sports and academics takes a back seat and is for "nerds" who can't "compete" on the field.

    We need to teach ALL of our kids how to compete – and how to understand the compensating strategies that are needed for the kids to make the most of their other skills and capabilities – because – in the real world – it's not about sports – it's about hard work and making the most of the talents and skills you do have and physical talent is just one of many.

    we need to teach this to kids.

    and this – does need to be taxpayer funded….

  4. Anonymous Avatar

    Let us not forget concussions in football and international football, rugby, etc.

    Let us have the cost of tickets pay for insurance and medical expences, long term.


  5. ALL OF IT needs to be user fee and not taxpayer funded in my view.

    We need to get taxpayers completely out of funding competitive high school sports.

  6. Reading these comments I must say that the term "nerd" comes to mind.

    Let me start with the facts. I have played in or attended hundreds of high school football games. That's the price one pays for having lots of sons. I pay an entrance fee every time I go into any Fairfax County High School game. There is usually a big crowd on hand including many people who seem to old or too young to be high school students. They all pay to attend.

    Can we agree that sports which support themselves by charging the fans to watch are OK? Or … are we going to get into one of those debates where it's unfair because sizable crowds will only pay to watch two boys' sports – namely, football and basketball?

    Second, were all of you home schooled? Even if you weren't athletes you should have noticed that few things bring together a student body more than the sports teams. The stands fill with students, kids make banners for the halls … it's the talk of the school.

    Third, obesity. A fairly large percentage of students participate in one active sport or another. This is a life lesson in the benefit of exercise. Frankly, I like the policy of one local private school – every student will play a sport every season that school is in session. When I see the students from that school I see very few chubby kids. I wonder why?

    Fourth, confidence. Playing organized sports builds both confidence and discipline. For one thing, many kids who would totally slack off make an effort in order to keep their GPAs high enough to play sports. There are plenty of graduates of Groveton High School who would be without a diploma today if they didn't have to keep a 2.0 GPA in order to qualify for football. You also have to take direct authority from a coach or you get kicked off the team. You might be able to daydream in class without paying the price but ignore the coach and you're either benched or banned. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school freshman basketball team because he had a bad attitude. You think MJ learned anything from that?

    This whole debate is the perfect example of what's wrong with the thinking in America today. We should "dumb down" our education system by refusing to teach advanced placement courses. We should deny our children the confidence and discipline building skills learned on the playing field. We should dillute the school and community spirit built when dozens, hundreds or thousands of people come together to watch "their team" play. Most of all, we should expand the wealth gap by only letting kids who can afford advanced placement or sports activity fees engage in those activities. Any kids who have parents who can't foot the bill should stop math at Algebra II and go hang around on the street corner after school.

    I can personally and honestly say that I thank God none of you had any say whatsoever when I was a high school student. For the good of our children and our country I hope it stays that way.

  7. Groveton – your response indicates just how tone deaf you are about this.

    I would no deny kids ANY of the good things that you advocate as a benefit but you DO – because you exclude kids from these benefits if they cannot "make" the team and that's my complaint.

    I am ALL FOR – Intramural Sports – for team and school spirit, to fight obesity, to give kids something to keep them engaged in school including those who are economically disadvantaged but the difference is I want ALL the kids to receive these benefits ESPECIALLY if it comes from all taxpayers.

    We would treat the economically disadvantaged in intra-mural the same way we treat them for lunches and other programs.

    You will also find that in many private schools INCLUDING many of the CHARTER SCHOOLs that academics and intramural are the focus – not exclusionary programs.

    And you're supposed to be a deficit hawk guy.

    these are YOUR tax dollars and this is not a small amount of money.

    do you think the entrance fees at the football games pays for the coach's salary or compensates him/her for all of their time on task?

    How about for soccer, golf, swimming, lacrosse, etc for both boys and girls ..high school and middle school?

    You are, in effect, advocating, just like a socialist …except you're not advocating socialist benefits but rather collecting taxes from everyone and using it to benefit exclusionary practices that deny the same benefits to other kids who don't "qualify".

    shame shame guy.

    absolutely NONE of the benefits that you CITE from sports should be denied to ANY child.

    ALL of them need to learn how to compete and how to succeed even if they don't have the best talent in one area

    We teach bad values the way we do sports Groveton.

    The kids in Europe & Japan who clean our clocks academically?

    they do intra-mural sports.

  8. what this proves is that the so-called fiscal conservatives these days are only fiscally conservative about the things they don't value or want but they as socialist as can be when it comes to uses taxes for the things they believe in.

    tsk tsk…

    there goes Grovetons credibility – out the door…

  9. Life is tough Larry – not everybody "makes the team". That's a good lesson to learn early. But kids who really try usually do make a team. And … funny thing … if there are enough sports and you try hard enough you'll make some team.

    Don't like football? Run cross country? Cross country not your style? Play volleyball or tennis or badminton for all I care. And … if you don't want to do any of those things … fine … don't.

    This has nothing to do with intramural sports. As far as I know – everybody has to take gym. Certainly I did and so do all my boys.

    This is a question of whether competitive sports are worth the price. This is about the value of being able to play on a team which actually wins or loses at the end of a game. This is about playing all season with the same kids. This is about keeping score.

    You want to save money – charge for music and art classes. Let people voulnteer to coach the high school teams. Make people pay for talking to the guidance counselors and find out how many guidance counselors you really need. Stop teaching foreign languages on the bet that language translation software will be so good soon that it won't matter whether you can speak French or not. At least refuse to teach Latin (and, yes, I took Latin in high school).

    The reason we need some level of wealth distribution in the first place is beacuse we create so many un and under employable citizens.

    In fact – here's a better idea … a "citizen's services tax". everybody pays it. It's to cover the services you use. Fire, ploice, roads, etc. Every adult pays because every adult uses government services. It has no relation to income because income largely isn't what defines the level of services you receive. You pay whether you're working or retired because retired people suck up services too. If you can't pay …

    o You may not own a house. If you own a house and can't pay your house will siezed and sold with the proceeds used to pay the "citizen's tax".

    o You may not own a car. If you can't pay for the roads you have no business driving.

    o You can not eat at restaurants. You should cook you own food and use the savings to start paying the "citizen's tax".

    o If the three savings initiatives aren't sufficient to provide you with enough money to pay "the citizen's tax" you will be required to work for the government for free. You can pick up trash along the highway, you can carry the water bottles out to the kids playing competitive sports in high school – there are lots of menial tasks which need doing.

    That's may alternative to giving kids the shaft … forcing the idle classes (like healthy retired people) to pay for what they consume. And please don't tell me about how retired people paid enough taxes while they worked. Given the size of our deficits it's obvious that too liitle was contributed.

  10. This is a great issue, one I am definitely torn on.

    On one hand, I agree with Groveton that competitive(intramural is not really competitive) sports help build school culture and unity, not to mention the sheer act of having to compete just to get on the team is a learning lesson for many children. What does a child learn when he automatically makes a team just for being able to breath? He learns what are schools are increasingly teaching to our children everyday, mediocrity is the norm; you don't need to try; you're feelings are the only thing that matter, etc….(incidentally, please no comments I must have no kids blah, blah, blah — I have three kids, one just started Middle School and did not make the soccer team, you know what, he is more dedicated to making this team next year than he ever was before)

    On the other hand, I do think our schools' primary responsibility is to teach traditional school curriculum of math, english, science and history, anything beyond that is extra-curricular and should be subservient to the goals of teaching.

    This is all high-school talk of course. College is a whole different realm, because the sports programs in colleges do bring in revenue and serve as a great sales tool for new students. I think it only becomes an issue when the sports program is considered better than the education, not really the case with our colleges here in Virginia(maybe Virginia Union).

    As far as the fees for all students to "fund" the athletic program, i do wholeheartedly disagree with, that, but in a free market system we do have the choice to go or not go to schools that charge those fees(I know they are state schools, but they still compete with each other, and until the parents "vote" with their pocketbooks and stop supporting these schools with their children's attendance than it will stay that way).

    Final analogy for intramural sports, if education is so important to you guys, how come we don't have intramural college, where anyone can get in regardless of how smart they are? Its the only fair way to go. The truth is we are raising children in such a bubble that their first true sign of rejection of their abilities doesn't happen until they reach 18 at the earliest. I don't see how that is good for anyone. This feel good nonsense needs to stop.

  11. " Life is tough Larry – not everybody "makes the team". That's a good lesson to learn early"

    this is why you have School Groveton – to TEACH this AND to TEACH ..HOW TO "make A TEAM" if you work hard and accentuate the skills you do have.

    when you exclude kids in school – you are calling them failures without helping them to learn to overcome failure.

    You automatically brand them as failures when you tell then they are "NOT GOOD ENOUGH".

    This is a TERRIBLE ETHIC to teach a kid who is just starting.

    Groveton – Intramural sports can be golf, tennis, football, etc…

    and it SHOULD BE


    You are CONFUSED about the PURPOSE of SCHOOL and you are clearly old school on this

    and … significantly..

    you are advocating taking money from some people and giving it to others for something that is inherently exclusionary.

    I have no problem with competitive sports for those that want to pay user fees but I have a big problem with taxpayers paying for only some kids and not others.

    here's another example of just how WRONG YOU ARE:

    " The reason we need some level of wealth distribution in the first place is beacuse we create so many un and under employable citizens."

    The REASON is that FIRST, we tell kids they are FAILURES not because they don't try but because they don't "have it"

    and we NEVER TEACH THEM how to learn to compete even if they don't have some things that others have.

    and most important, we don't teach them that hard work is required sometimes when you don't have natural talent.. and that hard work – WORKS…

    You're actually favoring stereotyping that pre-ordains the need for wealth redistribution

    as opposed to teaching kids how to succeed even if they don't "have natural abilities".

    Some day.. you'll know you're wrong on this but hurry up you don't have forever and God is liable to smack you around a bit on this part.

  12. the "idle" classes.

    I AGREE WITH YOU Groveton!

    Folks who are consuming more resources (like entitlements) that they paid into it – need to be required to work – at the levels they are capable of.

    But you as a businessman must realize a fundamental problem with "making" people work who don't want to…

    it's an uphill battle because then you actually have to pay someone to make them work eh?

  13. One MORE.

    If you WANT to COMPETE … then you should be willing to work to pay for that opportunity.

    Get off your butt and get a part-time job or hold bake sales or clean up the stadium rest rooms or be a security guard.. EARN your way to play.

    Why should you think that you are ENTITLED to have others pay EXCLUSIVELY for you but not other kids?

    Is that not an "entitlement" mentality that we are actually teaching?

  14. " As far as the fees for all students to "fund" the athletic program, i do wholeheartedly disagree with, that, but in a free market system we do have the choice to go or not go to schools that charge those fees"

    not in high school…..

    everyone "pays" for "athletics" even if only some can participate

  15. I don't recall a fee for sports when my daughter was in high-school, although there were so many fees I truly could have missed it. Is there such a fee at the high-school level?

  16. high school sports has gotten totally out of hand….in some places… It's one thing to have ONE or TWO Sports like many of the rural schools have and those sports tend to be more egalitarian and not high-stakes competitive.

    Around here – people WILL MOVE to get their kid into the "right" High School Sports Program.

    Sports and other extra-curricular and optional courses ( like offering 5 different foreign languages) adds very SIGNIFICANT costs to education which comprises 50% or more of most local budgets – and is almost always the reason behind tax increases…

    you know… all those unwarranted tax increases that goes to "bloated" government and the related canard of the best governance is the kind done locally???

    except when the parents want their Johnny to get the best sports and extra course material that money can buy – only it's not their money….

    these would be the same parents who are yelling about an "entitlement" mentality…..

    Groveton – (one of) our resident self-avowed fiscal hawk(s) – who leaves no opportunity to remind us of Obama's "socialist" tendencies is just the socialist himself when it comes to schools…
    it appears.

  17. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    You are dead right. College sports values and strategies are utterly out of whack. Pro sports are to blame.

    Peter Galuszka

  18. Anonymous Avatar

    Taxpayer fleeced public high school and college football programs are just farm teams for the NFL.

    This is another corporate welfare rip off of hard working Americans.

    Americans United For The Separation Of Sports And State

  19. Peter did us all a service by bringing us back to the issue at hand … college sports.

    I am a lot closer to Jim Bacon's view of college sports than I am to the "sports are irrelevent in high school" view.

    I disagree with Peter about pro sports being the problem.

    It's the sad alumni who spend their middle age and later years in a vain attempt to relive their college years. They run out of real direction in their lives and just want to "beat state" at almost any cost. Sad, shallow people.

    If they really loved their alma mater as much as they claim they would be focused on academics, ethics and building a well rounded graduate. Instead, their mindless competitive instincts are directed at relatively meaningless sports.

    I've also noticed that most of the "sports first" alumni are businessmen who failed to live up to their own expectations in life.

  20. I think the problem is up and down the ladder.

    Pro-Teams treat colleges like Farm Teams who treat the High Schools as THEIR farm teams.

    I do not begrudge those who want to seek a career in competitive sports.

    I just don't think that is a valid use of taxpayer money at the high school level or a justifiable general population user fee at the college level.

    You're talking about dedicated salaried personnel committed to what amounts to – a subsidized business operation within the school.

    ALL Kids – at the K-12 school level DO NEED to learn that life is not fair and that talent is a gift and not everyone gets it..

    … but each KID has unique attributes that can be developed so that kid can compete – if he/she is taught this – that innate talent alone will not get you a career …. unless you are one in a million and most of us have to make the most of our other skills – combined with hard work and perseverance to reach success.

    And I hate to say it but the wrongs that we teach our kids are no more apparent than with black males in school who have a failure rate – twice other groups and who – tend to think of competitive sports as the path to their success – and no one is teaching them how to succeed WHEN they don't hit the competitive sport jackpot.

    Most every young black male looks at the pros on TV and the stars on the college teams and they THINK that's how they will make it – and our schools essentially "use" them in their sports programs – not really caring what happens when they don't become "stars".

    All of this – because we do not promote academics and learning and how to COMPETE for a non-sports job in the real world after school is done.

  21. College sports…..

    Q: How much do you think Va Tech paid JMU to come to b-burg and play that game?

    A: Somewhere north of $100,000 and I wouldn't be surprised if it was $250,000+.

    Teams like JMU go on the road to places like b-burg for one reason – the money. If they win, great. If they don't the check is still in the mail.

    FYI…The "Guarantees" row in the database you linked to is the amount of money that institutions paid out to teams to come and play them on their home turf.

    The problem is that our culture has created a nuclear arms race of sorts when it comes to college athletics and it starts waaaay earlier than High School.

    I personally know a few coaches at the D-I level and they start recruiting kids as early as Middle School….from all over THE WORLD.

    We really don't have student-athletes anymore….we have athletes who are students.

    It's crazy.

    High School Sports…..

    The county where I live instituted a pay-to-play system this past year. If you wanna play a varsity sport you gotta pay. They did away with Freshman sports and middle school sports as well.

    The number of kids going out for teams was down a little…not much.

    The cold hard truth about doing that is that it's not an option in school districts where you have 70% of the population getting free/reduced lunch….it ain't gonna happen.

    Factor in the parental politicking so your kid plays, kids jumping school districts so they get more exposure by recruiters, THOUSANDS of kids betting their future on getting a scholarship who ultimately don't (or do get one and don't graduate from college) and you have a system that doesn't benefit anyone…particularly taxpayers.

  22. RBV makes excellent observations:

    " We really don't have student-athletes anymore….we have athletes who are students"

    and we have a bunch of black kids who were counting on being an athlete and now are not students either.

    I'm convinced that one reason we have this huge dropout problem is that our culture encourages young people to consider sports as a reasonable career to pursue when the reality is that it's more like a lottery and we provide these kids with no Plan B so when they don't make the team -they're toast.

    Our county went to user fees for Middle School and Freshman sports and I don't think this is a bad thing.

    It's NOT GOOD for kids in Middle School to be betting their academic careers on sports.

    This is OUR FAULT.

    The parents actively lobby the school systems to provide these things… and I love the way they put it " for the kids " so the "kids" can "learn" about real life – by playing sports.

    Sports are NOT REAL LIFE except for 1 in thousand or worse.

    For everyone who did not make it "real life" is no graduation, no job, welfare.. and if you deal drugs – jail.

    For every kid we send to College Football – hundreds more struggle to graduate – functionally illiterate and likely to end up in the criminal justice system.

  23. If football was played by animals, it would be against the law.

  24. A typical high school football team will have 40 – 70 players. Of these, there are perhaps 20 who seriously think they will get scholarships to play college football. In reality, perhaps 5 will. Of the 5 who will ultimatley get college scholarships, perhaps 2 have actual aspirations to play in the NFL. Of these 2, some miniscule percent will actually make it to even a try out in the NFL.

    The 20 – 50 players who don't think they will play in college are student athletes. In addition, I'd say that about half of the 20 who think they can play in college are circumspect enough to hedge that bet with a focus on studying – especially as their high school years unfold and the all region or all state honors are not forthcoming.

    So, I'd estimate that 10 out of 40 – 70 boys have unrealistic expectations during the last 2 years of high school.

    Once the 10 who will get some kind of assistance from colleges (sometimes as little as help getting accepted) start playing college ball 7 will become disaffected. A few may keep playing to keep a scholarship but their days of being unrealistic are over.

    Of the 3 who are not disaffected, 2 will realize that college is the endpoint of their football careers. When you are sitting the bench in college you stop thinking about the pros.

    That leaves one player out of our original 40 – 70 who will remain unrealistic over the 8 years from freshman in high school to senior in college.

    If anybody has a different idea as to the numbers … I'd be happy to hear it. I've been involved in football for many years as a player (who reset his expectations early), father of players, friend of current and retired NFL players, etc.

    There is an "elite athlete" slice of the kids playing high school and college football where unrealistic expectations run high. However, that slice represents a small minority of the kids. It also gets to be a smaller and smaller number of kids as time rolls on. You read a lot of stories about the kids in that slice. You never read stories about the majority of kids who know that their last high school football game will be the last time they ever wear shoulder pads again in their lives. And that's too bad because it fosters a completely false impression of the sport.

  25. I won't dispute Grovetons analysis as far as it goes but it is subjective and there are studies that show that young male minorities tend to be very much into watching their elders in pro sports and being motivated by the prospect of making living in sports – and not have any kind of an alternative mindset.

    These kids see the money not only in the Pros but they see it at the college level – as alluded to by the NCAA kerfuffle Jim posted.

    We even see and hear of this in high school.

    Parents are "into" it.. they send strong messages to the kids about how "great" an athlete is and much money they make.

    Then we configure our high schools to essentially operate as training camps for College athletics.

    And we talk about the "important" lessons that "kids" …."learn" from competitive sports as justification for taxpayers hiring coaches who pretend to be teachers in order to be hired on paper as teachers.

    We devote significant school resources to playing fields and equipment, stadiums, parking, etc.

    We have a whole infrastructure devoted to equipment and safe helmets.. and medical assistance.

    NONE of this has ANYTHING at ALL to do with ACADEMICS.

    and it terms of "teaching" lessons about competition – it excludes 98% percent of the kids – the ones who will also have to compete in real life but not in Sports and who need to be taught those same skills especially for the kids that are not natural talents – and it can tremendously boost their self image if they actually can learn to be better athletes even if not on a career track.

    Many kids are obese because despite 4 star athletic programs at their school, "regular" athletics is ignored and kids who are "not good" at not helped to .. achieve in athletics.

    The whole system is jaded and messed up and the worse part is that it consumes tax payer dollars that is not spent equitably for the purpose for which it is collected and instead dedicated or only some kids while others do not get the same benefits.

    That's wrong twice.

    it's a misallocation of resources

    and it does a tremendous disservice to the kids who get the short end of the stick.

    it teaches wrong values to kids.

    All competitive sports in the schools needs to be totally user-fee supported.

    Some of the best schools in the nation which have a graduation rate near 100% with almost all their kids going to college – do not have competitive sports programs.

    Their resources do not have to compete with athletic programs.

    They are totally devoted to academics.

    and the kids?

    the kids play sports in Parks and Recs programs in the community – intra-mural style.

    which is the way it should be.

    competitive sports has corrupted our culture and our values and worst of all – it is actually teaching an entitlement mentality to BOTH those who participate AND those who do not "make the team".

    Now.. I want to hear Groveton call me a "liberal".

  26. Groveton –

    Have you ever watched or been to a HS Football game in Texas?

    At big-time HS programs in Texas all eleven players on both sides of the ball EXPECT to be recruited and continue playing at the next level…..same goes for the elite programs in any state you go to.

    It's a tax-payer funded farm system just like LarryG said.

    As for your numbers…I would agree with them for the most part…..which makes the amount of money we spend on HS sports even more absurd given what the percentages are a kid will continue playing…..let alone enjoy it.

    Nobody, including myself, thinks we could/should/would do away with HS sports….all were saying is bring a little sanity back to the field.

  27. "Nobody, including myself, thinks we could/should/would do away with HS sports….all were saying is bring a little sanity back to the field."


    I agree, and it isn't limited to HS sports.

    I once heard a disgruntled sailboat racer claim that the right handicap system would be to take your finish time and multiply it by the number of dollars invested in the boat.

    Used to be that you could take any well found cruising boat and go race it competitively. Now the sails on a competitive boat cost several times as much as my entire boat.

    It is just as insane as what we spend on football.

  28. Competitive sports in our country is destroying our schools….

    and doing a huge disservice to kids who won't grow up to be quarterbacks… or wide receivers…

    every single kid needs to be taught to compete and how to compete even if they are not rich in talent.

    every child benefits from this and we as a society benefits from it.

    teaching only the "qualified" kids is just plain wrong and using tax dollars to do it – is a travesty.

  29. Yes, I have been to a Texas high school football game. Lots of fans. More like a college crowd. The people in the stands including the students had a great time. I seeem to recall paying to get in – maybe $5 – $10 (but I was with a friend who I think did the actual paying). Let's see … That's about 10,000 people of which 1/2 pay $10 – $50,000. Figure each team gets half. That's $25,000 per game. And they play 10 games. That's $250,000 per team per year.

    So, now I am confused … how much does it take to run a high school football team for a season?

    Or am I once again confusing the issue with facts?

    The statement that competitive sports is destroying our schools is the single most overblown and ridiculous point ever made on Bacon's Rebellion. I will bet that the statement's author hasn't even been to a high school sporting event in the last 10 years.

    Destroying our schools? Unaccountable teachers? Union work rules? The NEA? No recourse to expell bad students? Excessive administration? A focuse on BS like "women's studies" instead of math and science?

    There are lots of things screwing our schools. Competitive sports is not one of them.

    Competitive sports have a long tradition in US high schools. Do you Remember the Titans? However, the decline in our education system is a relatively recentmatter. It coincides with the rise in statist, liberal do gooders more than any change in sports.

  30. re:" Or am I once again confusing the issue with facts?"

    nope.. you're not presenting facts.. just speculation and conjecture…

    when you present the facts – you won't be as confused.

    re: " Destroying our schools? Unaccountable teachers? Union work rules? The NEA? No recourse to expell bad students? Excessive administration? A focuse on BS like "women's studies" instead of math and science?

    There are lots of things screwing our schools. Competitive sports is not one of them."

    The emphasis on competitive sports puts out a very simple message: " it's all about me" and everyone else takes that cue.

    Competitive Sports is destroying the concept of what schools are for and giving everyone excuses for doing everything but concentrate on the original purpose – of PUBLICALLY FUNDED (taxpayer funded) schools and that is to create an employable workforce.

    That's their primary mission and instead it's turned into a country club for just about any conceivable subject from golf to cheerleading to glee clubs.

    The other things are FINE as user-fee activities AFTER we have the CORE PURPOSE under control and performing as it should be.

    But we make core academics compete for resources against these other things that are not core academics.

    and we tell the kids – that academics are not the core purpose… just something on the same level as golf or cheerleading..

    I'm surprised that someone who labels himself as a fiscal conservative and claims that Obama is a socialist cannot see just how UN-Conservative his view is and how SOCIALIST his view is.

    He wants taxpayers to pay for all these extras including competitive sports – why?

    tell me again what these are legitimate taxpayer responsibilities?

    How can you justify taxpayer-funded competitive sports and then turn around and yammer about wealth transfers ?

    shame shame guy.

    you need remedial Conservative training – BOY.

    I know Conservatives Groveton and you – my man – are not a Conservative… but a Conservative LITE!

  31. I not only played competitive sports but have attended games and to be honest – there's a log going on at those games that we ought not be proud of.

    these contests foster an us against them mindset that I think carries over into other things in society and world affairs.

    but I digress.

    I think school pride and morale is extremely important but I disagree that the only way to accomplish it is with competitive sports.

    It's a grand tradition – based on good ideals but it has turned into something that that is not good by being tied to College and then the Pros – as our schools now place great importance on the athletic skills on young men – to the detriment of the rest of the young man – as to where he is headed is he is not one of the very lucky ones who stay on the "pro" track.


    "B" average to be on the staring team – and not "B" in phys ed and shop.. "B" in math, science and English.

    Trump sports with the fundamental purpose of schools – and the reason why we tax the bejesus out of property owners.

    My GOD – the PARENTS of the kids should be wanting this.

    ALL extracurricular activities should be rewards to academic performance – not competition with academics themselves.

    Our kids are graduating – to be ranked 15th in the world – and that directly affects their ability to compete for jobs in a world economy – the only kids to escape this are the .001% that survive to play a few years in the pros… until they become "old men" in their 30's and 40's.

    We need to focus on the purpose of education.

    I'm amazed that the same folks that think the Federal Dept of Ed – along with NCLB should be shut down – and let the local schools put even less emphasis on academics and abandon even more young people because they don't have "good parents".

    Groveton – there are no teach unions in Va but there are a heck of a lot of competitive taxpayer-funded sports programs that play a large role in your property taxes – about 1/2 in most places.

    All this talk about "bloated" govt when the "bloat" is the school system – and not the core academic teachers but the phalanx of other teachers needed to cater to extra-curricular and sports.

    If we classified teachers as to whether they taught core academics or not – you'd be shocked as more than 1/2 of them do not teach core academics and yet we pay them the same wages as if they did.

    That's not a "union" problem. that's a parent problem. Each parent wants their Johnny to be able to take Latin I through IV or photo journalism or play golf.

    Again.. no problem with these as long as parents pay for them.

    They're just not appropriate for taxpayers.

    I'm starting to understand why more and more people want to provide vouchers and close failing schools.

    Because the system we have.. simply does not care if the school is failing as long as they have a helluva good football team and they have kids that get college football scholarships.

    The fact that 1/2 of the black males fail.. is just "too bad".

  32. "Because the system we have.. simply does not care if the school is failing as long as they have a helluva good football team and they have kids that get college football scholarships.".

    Next time you are in Northern Virginia – give me a call. I'll take you to Langley High School (just won a second state title in lacrosse)or McLean High School or West Potomac High School (former state football champ). Or, we can head out to Stone Bridge in Loudoun (2007 state football champ).

    NONE of these schools are failing their students. None of them. And ALL of them play top notch competitive sports.

    Let me try one more time … if boys' football and basketball programs draw more money from fan admissions and concession sales than they spend – would you object to continuing them? Same question for college football and basketball.

    Face it Larry – you just don't like sports.

  33. I LOVE Sports Groveton. I ESPECIALLY love sports that INCLUDE ALL KIDs for their health and to teach the all the good lessons that sports teach.

    I do not like excluding kids from sports which is why I prefer intramural sports that includes all kids.

    That, my friend, is the opposite of not liking sports.

    What I don't like is "special" sports for "special" people paid for by ALL taxpayers.

    Your claim that all sports programs pay for themselves is not true.

    The cost of sports stadiums alone is a losing proposition – at all levels – high school, college and pro.

    They all require subsidies.

    When you show me an plain budget of the sports programs in schools, I might believe you but you won't be able to do that because most school systems will not provide it.

    It's buried in other categories and cannot be easily determined.

    It's the very opposite of transparency and accountability and for good reason – if the taxpayers actually saw the costs – they' raise holy hell and that would be the end of it.

    High School Sports in most rural areas is a much more sane and fiscally responsible endeavor because it is limited and on a shoestring as it should be.

    But you're ignoring my big indictment of you – that you are indeed a closet socialist when it comes to sports and other non-academic programs.

    All this time you talk about Obama being a socialist and we find out that you too are socialist – only in different areas.

    tsk tsk…

    that confirms my suspicions about so called fiscal conservatives… it's only for the things they want limited… for the things they want.. it's just fine.

    I call that fiscal conservatism for convenience …… LITE.

  34. "if boys' football and basketball programs draw more money from fan admissions and concession sales than they spend – would you object to continuing them?"

    No I wouldn't.

    But out where I live football and boy's b-ball draw quite well… least enough to support themselves (one would think based on a modest estimate of what they are getting at the gate) yet players are still required to pay to participate….that's the rub….where's all the money going….how do we fix the hemorrhaging?

    We are punishing the athletes for something that isn't their fault….right?

    It's complete insanity….on top of all the rest of the BS that players must deal with on/off the field.

  35. I would welcome transparency and accountability for the sports programs – all of them.

    But I have yet to see a school budget that breaks this data out.

    and I strongly suspect – for good reason.

    Who gets the "gate" receipts and what are the expenses and who pays them?

    who pays for he stadium and other infrastructure?

    I find it pretty interesting that we have all this fru fru over "accountability" for the Fed and State government – and then at the local level – where ostensibly where the "closer" the governance is – 1/2 of our property taxes goes to an entity that basically disses accountability for it's expenditures.

    Oh they do provide a budget.. pages and pages of it…but try as you might – you'll never find the costs of the non-academic programs… including sports.

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