I was chatting with my research assistant today who was concerned about his mounting student loan debt which he feared would delay his ability to attend a Ph.D. graduate program ("How can I go further in to debt for an uncertain future?"). He mentioned hearing that the hockey coach is the highest paid person in the USNH (University System of New Hampshire) and posed this question: "Is it unethical for colleges and universities to have competitive sports team?" He went on to ask, "Why should so much money go to sports teams when they have nothing to do with education, which is the mission of colleges and universities?" And one more quote: "If a young person wants to be a professional baseball player, let him go and play baseball elsewhere, rather than pass on his training costs to other college students."
In this time of drastic belt tightening on college campuses, these questions are going to become increasingly salient. Money does seem to be a "zero sum game" and I'm sure that students like my research assistant would rather funds move toward people like himself...who have high academic aspirations, rather than individuals who have non-academic aspirations.
Pic taken at Target yesterday: