With the NCAA Final Four just days away, Rutgers men's basketball coach Mike Rice was fired after video surfaced of the coach abusing his players verbally and physically.
But, says Nick Gillespie, college sports abuses virtually all students, including ones who never play on a varsity team or buy a ticket to a game or competition.
The vast majority of colleges—public and private—massively subsidize varsity sports directly out of mandatory student fees and other school funds. Despite the ability of top-tier teams to earn a lot of revenue via television contracts, ticket sales, merchandise sales, and other activities, most schools still hit up students in both direct and indirect ways.
Rutgers subsidizes its sports teams with almost $30 million in student fees and other school funds. This year's Cinderella team in the NCAA tournament, Wichita State, kicks in over $6.5 million to its sports teams and its opponent in Saturday's Final Four game, the University of Louisville, spends $10 million on the same. This happens despite serious research showing that good sports teams don't benefit colleges in terms of getting better students or more alumni dollars.
In an era where tuition keeps increasing, isn't it time to rethink the millions of dollars students—and taxpayers—shell out involuntarily on college sports?