The front page story in today’s Gainesville Sun highlights just what I was talking about in my previous post — the impact of college sports on universities. Here are a few highlights from Nathan Crabbe’s story:
CBS and ESPN are paying the Southern Conference (SEC) more than $3 billion (that’s B) over 15 years to televise SEC games.
The University Athletic Association (UAA) has contributed more than $51 million to UF since 1990. Crabbe didn’t indicate what percentage of the UAA income that was.
Head football coach Urban Meyer recently signed a six-year contract for $24 million.
Sun Sports and IMG (a sports marketing company) are playing the UAA about $86 million over 10 years for television, radio and sponsorship rights. From reading the story, Ilearned that Sun Sports, which used to be the Sunshine Channel, is owned by Fox. Sun Sports is the channel that runs replays of classic games and also televises games that don’t merit CBS or ESPN coverage. Florida’s game against Charleston Southern, for example, was on Sun Sports.
That’s a lot of money and a lot of contract negotiations.
At the same time the athletic program is booming, UF is going through budget cuts. More than 100 faculty and staff have been laid off. In our college, the dean has told us to expect more layoffs.
And this wealth can’t be spread around to help staff some of the faculty who might be needed to teach the athletes? Hmmm.