Sports Programs At UND And NDSU Cost Students, Taxpayers Big Money
Forum Communications sports writer Jeff Kolpack about the success of the two primary sports programs at North Dakota’s two largest universities. Namely, hockey at UND and football and NDSU.
Both programs are very successful, and Kolpack notes that it’s money that is “driving the bus in both programs.”
“Both are fully funded, with head coaching salaries somewhere in the neighborhood of the top 10 in each division,” writes Kolpack. “Both have facilities that are in the top five of each division.”
He’s not kidding. We can talk about private donations and such, but one thing a lot of people don’t understand is that those programs represent a heavy cost for students and taxpayers even beyond the revenues they produce and the private donations they receive from boosters.
Contrary to popular belief, these programs are not profitable.
Looking at numbers from this USA Today database, the UND athletics programs received $4,183,416.00 in direct support from the university itself during the 2009 – 2010 athletic year, representing 23% of all athletics programs revenues. Those are revenues for the athletics program that are distinct from ticket sales, merchandise sales, donations, etc. Those are funds directly from UND’s revenues which, in turn, are from tuition, tax dollars, student fees, etc.
Enrollment for that academic year was 13,172 students, meaning that for each student attending UND that year there was roughly $317 spent on athletics. That is a huge amount of money.
The picture was similar that year at NDSU. The athletics programs got $4,773,022.00 in direct support from the university and had an enrollment of 14,189 students. That works out to $336 per student. Oh, and NDSU got another $1,288,425.00 in direct support from the state government that year (UND did not), and when you include that total the price per student goes up to $427.
Even after ticket sales and merchandise and donations, these athletics programs still have to depend on millions of dollars spent from university/taxpayer coffers. Not only are they not profitable, they’re driving up the cost of higher education for students.
But the sports programs are big business for the schools, even subsidized as they are by tuition-paying students and taxpayers. Which just goes to show that modern higher education is less about serving the students then serving the glory of the institutions themselves.Tags: higher education, jeff kolpack, North Dakota News, north dakota state university, University of North Dakota