[Vision2020] UI Backs Off From $4 million for Athletics

Ted Moffett starbliss at gmail.com
Thu Apr 20 22:28:39 PDT 2017

I suppose this is obvious, but the issue of athletics generating revenue or
not, vs. academic funding or the lack thereof,  given a limited budget, is
a distraction from the critical priority of generous funding of
higher education from state and/or federal sources.  This should be a
fundamental value in a civilized humane democracy, as essential as military
spending on the so called "Department of Defense" (more accurately termed
"Department of War").

Athletics should not displace academics as critical to a university,
right?  If a choice has to be made between the two, academics comes first.
But in our sports obsessed culture, many appear to think otherwise.
And athletics as a profit generating activity for higher education should *not
have to be relied upon *to fund academics:  Having wrote that, I think
funding for college athletics should also be generously supported, but not
pursued cynically as a profit generating cash cow, as it is at some
universities, where the athletes are exploited by the universities and NCAA.

A well educated electorate is absolutely necessary for a democracy to
function as intended, or the nation can fall prey to the manipulations of
political charlatans and demagogues.
The election 2017 hammered this point home:


Nov. 22, 2016 at 2:53 PM
Education, Not Income, Predicted Who Would Vote For Trump

By Nate Silver <http://fivethirtyeight.com/contributors/nate-silver/>


Vision2020 Post: Ted Moffett
On Thu, Apr 20, 2017 at 1:23 AM, Scott Dredge <scooterd408 at hotmail.com>

Dr. Gier,
> The two major revenue producing college sports are football and men's
> basketball.  The sport of football did not exist in America until 1869.
> Basketball was not invented until and 1891.  The Morrill Act of 1862
> saying "nothing about athletics" is an extremely weak argument to raise in
> regard to budgeting of the athletic department.  This type of logic is as
> ineffective as stating "nowhere in the Constitution is the word 'abortion'
> mentioned" as a justification for states to enact and enforce laws
> criminalizing abortion.
> Your second point that 'you can see no reason that UI athletics cannot
> live within the limits of its generous annual subsidy of $949,500' comes
> off to me that you simply lack vision.  Idaho is in the midst of taking the
> unprecedented action of moving from FBS to FCS and thus will be
> experiencing a significant downturn in revenue.  They're heading into very
> troubled waters and maybe to your delight.  Certainly not mine.  I can
> attest that the three endowments for the U of I that I created to fund
> *academic* scholarships (and I received a record 10 thank you notes this
> year from scholarship recipients) can be directly credited to Idaho's move
> from Division I-AA to Division I *athletics*.  You can probably count how
> much more money I'll be donating on zero hands.  Be my guest in taking
> credit for this turn-about.
> -Scott
> ------------------------------
> *From:* Nicholas Gier <ngier006 at gmail.com>
> *To:* vision2020 <vision2020 at moscow.com>
> *Sent:* Wednesday, April 19, 2017 1:16 PM
> *Subject:* [Vision2020] UI Backs Off From $4 million for Athletics
> Dear Visionaries:
> Both faculty and students can take credit for this turn-about.  Here are
> excerpts from a revised version of my column that appeared in the Argonaut
> yesterday. One faculty senator noted that the Morrill Act of 1862, which
> established our land-grant institutions (of which UI is one), said nothing
> about athletics.
> UI Finance Vice-President Brian Foisy estimates a deficit between $900,000
> and $1,000,000.  The athletics department had originally requested $1
> million a year for four years to bring the budget out of the red.
> After some hard questioning at last Tuesday’s Faculty Senate meeting and a
> revealing investigative report by a UI student (see below), Vice-President
> Foisy has now announced that the request will be $950,000 for this year
> alone.  . . .
> Vice-President Foisy has argued that all campus units require a subsidy,
> but those faculty and staff contribute to the core mission of the
> University. Land grant universities such as the UI were authorized by the
> Morrill Act 1862, signed by President Abraham Lincoln. Nowhere in this
> legislation nor in the UI Constitution is athletics described as essential
> to the function of these institutions.
> Over the 45 years that I have been associated with the UI, I have seen my
> department and many others cut their budgets to the bone—some have no
> travel money and some have no faculty telephones—so I see no reason that UI
> athletics cannot live within the limits of its generous annual subsidy of
> $949,500.
> --
> A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they
> shall never sit in.
> -Greek proverb
> “Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed immaturity.
> Immaturity is the inability to use one’s understanding without guidance
> from another. This immaturity is self- imposed when its cause lies not in
> lack of understanding, but in lack of resolve and courage to use it without
> guidance from another. Sapere Aude! ‘Have courage to use your own
> understand-ing!—that is the motto of enlightenment.
> --Immanuel Kant
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mailman.fsr.com/pipermail/vision2020/attachments/20170420/d36e2b58/attachment-0001.html>

More information about the Vision2020 mailing list