Most people now need a college degree in order to achieve the lifestyle they desire, if not something close to it. Some will be able to get past with just an undergraduate degree, but there is still the likelihood that they will need a master’s and even perhaps a doctorate degree—and most students are well aware of that fact. Defunding college sports would be a good step to take to help take some of the burden off of students.
Unfortunately, many students do not come from families that can support their education even through their undergraduate degree and many others will need to borrow the money it takes to get their graduate degrees. I am aware that it will take a lot of borrowing on my part to get the medical degree I want. Many of the students who will borrow the money it takes for them to attend graduate school might even face not being able to pay it back in the future as they may not get a high enough paying job or a job at all. Even with all of this to consider, we see that universities continue to pour money into athletic programs and resources for athletes, but they fail to work to make college cost half of what it does today or to even lower the prices in order to make the price of college more affordable for more people and therefore possible for more students to attend. Even though there are a multitude of approaches that could be used to solve this problem, the best way at the moment is to defund college athletics and to reallocate that money to research and to the education of the students who would not be able to afford college.
It might sound harsh, but at the end of the day college athletics doesn’t really do anything for the world in the grand scheme of things. Sure, we could get a warm fuzzy feeling inside when we see our favorite college teams win and it may be a source of bonding for families to go out and see games with friends and family members. However, I am not convinced that that warm fuzzy feeling we get is worth not being able to provide a student with a fully funded education so they can go out and find a cure to cancer, become a government official or become an influential professor. Many of the students who play college sports do not go on to become Olympic or professional athletes, so the majority of the time the universities are funding college sports for a temporary dream a student has that probably won’t make a lasting, significant impact on their own life or really the lives of anyone else. Even if that student did go on to become a professional athlete and I can’t honestly say there is too much value in that either. The world doesn’t really need another overpaid athlete when money could go elsewhere.
Universities are centers for learning and this learning is by and large academic. The money that is put into the university should continue to be based in academics and should be allocated primarily, if not solely toward academic usages. It is well past time to stop throwing money away into the building of athletic facilities for college students and putting money into funding unimportant fantasies that some students may have. Too many students miss out on the opportunity to have a debt free education. It’s time to take another look at our spending and spend differently to help students do the real learning to change the real world, not the fantasy so many of us desperately want to live in.