Monday, April 20, 2015

Why Should I Pay For Public Universities?

The theory behind publicly-financed higher education is that there's some perceived societal good that comes from having a more educated public.  That view doesn't jibe well with this piece from the major Sacramento newspaper:
UC Davis administrators christened them as “the seven inviolate principles.” They added the extra point later to make “the eight core principles.” For more than a decade, they’ve guided the Aggies into the world of big-time college sports.

Campus officials came up with the principles around the same time the student body in 2003 voted a fee hike on itself, partly to fund the transition to Division I competition. The principles were a promise of sorts the school wouldn’t sell its academic soul to achieve athletic prominence.

Last week, athletic director Terry Tumey left UC Davis to pursue other opportunities, administrators said. Like all such departures, his created an opportunity to inspect a public institution amid transition, which led to an examination of the inviolate cores – and a conclusion that maybe they need to be compromised...

(ESPN broadcaster and UC Davis alum Mike) Bellotti thinks UC Davis has to give way to lower admission standards, if you want more and better players. He also shudders at the principle that coaches are required to teach on the side.

At UC Davis, neither basketball’s Jim Les nor football’s Ron Gould are exempted.

Said Bellotti: “I was astounded.”
I'm astounded that I should pay tax dollars to support a university that would lower admission standards for football players. What, exactly, is the purpose of college, and what, exactly, is the purpose of college football? Why, exactly, should I pay for the latter at all, and for the former if it exists merely to support the latter?


maxutils said...

I think it comes down to whether or not you feel public universities are useful; if you don't, then absolutely you should feel wronged by this. But athletics are part of the college experience, (and, the reason why I went to UCD) so they bring in students, and revenue from the big programs support the small, and lowering standards slightly for athletes is not a huge deal for me -- UCD hasn't done so to any great extent, yet Jim Les was able to bring in players who took the Aggies to their first post season since UCD won the National championship, D2, in …'89? Public univresities ae just as important to society as are K-12; we should just do a better job of screening and mainaining standards. A little push to get in -- ok. But if the student can't handle it , treat him or er exactly like every othe studrnt ...

momof4 said...

I'd like to eliminate all college sports above the intramural or club level. Those kids attending college for that beer-and-circuses atmosphere, as opposed to real academics, shouldn't be in college at all - same goes for athletes reading at 5th-grade levels.
For those wishing to compete seriously, most sports (football an exception) have structures leading all the way up to Olympic level - totally separate from colleges or the k-12 system. For football and basketball, the NFL and the NBA should run their own farm systems.