URLs du Jour — 2013-04-04

  • Saving for College Nick Gillespie is inspired by Rutgers' firing of coach Mike Rice (for getting caught "abusing" of his players) into looking at a larger outrage: the "way that Division I college sports is abusing most college students at most shools around the country, even if they never suit up for a practice or attend a single varsity competition of any sort."

    Nick looks at the latest USA Today report describing how 277 NCAA Division 1 public institutions of Higher Education fund their athletic programs.

    When all is tallied up, USA Today calculates that Rutgers is subsidizing the operation of its athletic department to the tune of 47 percent of its expenses. Let's underscore that: This is money that is overwhelmingly going to field football, baseball, lacrosse, and other sports teams. It's not going to create new sections of Biology 101 or English 251 or underwrite the discovery of the next Streptomycin or publish the next Economics and the Public Interest or anything that remotely comes close to education or research.

    Rutgers is Gillespie's alma mater. Milton Friedman, also a Rutgers alumnus, is quoted.

  • Rutgers is one of the "comparator schools" for the University Near Here. Gillespie's article made me wonder how the level of athletic subsidy compares at those schools. Here 'tis:

    School Revenue Subsidy % Subsidy
    Massachusetts $27,248,277 $22,043,976 80.9%
    Buffalo $26,228,030 $20,823,478 79.4%
    Delaware $36,074,840 $28,535,457 79.1%
    Rhode Island $23,614,858 $17,588,496 74.5%
    Vermont $16,671,903 $11,972,477 71.8%
    UNH $26,237,332 $18,348,442 69.9%
    Maine $18,443,619 $12,096,275 65.6%
    Rutgers $60,190,100 $28,475,523 47.3%
    Connecticut $63,089,340 $15,029,723 23.8%

    To quote T. Brennan: "I don't know what that means." Other than the 47.3% subsidy that outrages Gillespie is pretty modest when compared to UNH, or even most other schools (except UConn).

    Other fun facts gleaned from the USA Today data: for UNH, over the 2006-2011 period, the amount of revenue obtained by ticket sales declined by 10%, while revenue from (mandatory) student fees increased by 40% and from "school funds" went up by 29%. "Coaching staff" expenses went up by 25%.

  • Libertarians might want to check out an interesting post from Tyler Cowen; it's in response to people who ask him about "guns and gun control". Although Tyler leans libertarian, he would "gladly see a cultural shift toward the view that gun ownership is dangerous and undesirable, much as the cultural attitudes toward smoking have shifted since the 1960s."

    Really? But he goes on:

    I am, however, consistent. I also think we should have a cultural shift toward the view that alcohol — and yes I mean all alcohol — is at least as dangerous and undesirable. I favor a kind of voluntary prohibition on alcohol. It is obvious to me that alcohol is one of the great social evils and when I read the writings of the prohibitionists, while I don’t agree with their legal remedies, their arguments make sense to me. It remains one of the great undervalued social movements. For mostly cultural reasons, it is now a largely forgotten remnant of progressivism and it probably will stay that way, given that “the educated left” mostly joined with America’s shift to being “a wine nation” in the 1970s.

    I don't agree with this—at least not yet—but I admire Tyler's willingness to take his argument where consistency demands he take it. Check it out.

Last Modified 2014-12-01 2:35 PM EDT