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Spending on sports vs. spending on teaching

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Here’s a great chart Chad Alderman pulled from a Knight Commission report taking a look at spending priorities in the SEC:

It’s important to note here that the vast majority of schools lose money off athletics. In 2008, less than a quarter of sports powerhouses made money off their athletics programs, and collectively these same institutions lost nearly $1 billion on sports. These funds must be made up by state taxpayers or student tuition bills. Find out how much your school spent with this handy database put together by researchers at USA Today.

The aggregate impact of all this on American educational attainment probably isn’t all that big, but it’s not nothing either. We pioneered mass higher education in this country, but more recently we’ve been falling behind, and our habit of combining the function of a college with the functions of a professional sports franchise isn’t helping.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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