Colleges spending more on sports


Bill Radke: As the NCAA meets this week in Atlanta, there is talk of tight college budgets, of course. But Marketplace's Brett Neely reports big schools are still spending big money on sports.

Nick Saban: You know, you can't accept being average, you can't accept anything but the best.

Brett Neely: That's Alabama coach Nick Saban after winning the BCS National Championship last week. He was talking about football, but that philosophy has fuelled a massive increase in college spending on sports.

Athletic spending rose more than 40 percent between 2004 and 2008, according to the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. That's not sustainable, says commission co-chair Gerald Turner:

Gerald Turner: About 80 percent of programs in the country do not break even.

But Turner, who's also president of Southern Methodist University, says colleges have to pick and choose where they spend their money. So many are cutting college sports that don't generate the big bucks -- like tennis, fencing, and lacrosse.

Turner: What you've seen over the last 20 years is a huge number of sports being eliminated on our college campuses.

And the recession has accelerated that process.

I'm Brett Neely for Marketplace.

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Atthe end of this report on Clooge coaches increasing salaries, MP's commentastor made the statement that unlike professors,coaches do not receive tenure, a couple of losing seasons and they are often fired. This is only partially true. yes,after several losing seasons they can and are often fired. HOWEVER, they typically receive anywhere between 1-4 million dollars in "guaranteed' pay.
This omission leaves a serious hole in today's story and is not the standard I have come to expect from MP.

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