Thursday, April 24, 2008

SDSU athletics: A no win situation?

As spring football practice concludes this weekend at San Diego State, the old football vs. academics debate has resurfaced.

Specifically, the academics are wondering why SDSU President Stephen Weber gives so much discretionary funding to football as cutbacks in the classroom continue.

Here were some of the arguments in last Sunday’s San Diego Union-Tribune:

Former SDSU football player and long-time actor Fred Dryer: “The benefits of a successful football program are overwhelming. Such a program breeds pride and participation from the community, students and alumni.”

English Professor Peter C. Herman: “SDSU is subsidizing 42 percent of the athletics budget, about double the average for the NCAA's top-tier programs. Every academic department at SDSU must meet its budget, or face consequences. Why not football?”

Let’s take a look at the success rate of academics vs. athletics:

Academics –
For two years in a row, SDSU has been ranked the No. 1 most productive research university, among schools with 14 or fewer Ph.D. programs.
SDSU ranks No. 2 among universities of its type nationwide and No. 1 in California, for students studying abroad as part of their college experience.
Since 2000, SDSU faculty and staff have attracted more than $1 billion in grants and contracts for research and program administration.

Athletics –
The Aztecs have not had a winning football season since 1998.
The men’s basketball team has never won an NCAA Tournament Division I playoff game.
SDSU has not made the NCAA Tournament field since 1991
The alumni center now under construction will be two stories high, or half the size of the original plan; reportedly due to lack of funding.

What’s more important at SDSU; academics or athletics? You make the call.


kareem said...

You know that Fred Dwyer is going to be in favor of supporting the athletic program as he was a product of that program. But it really sounds like the academics on campus at SDSU should be more emphasized, that is for sure.

brian said...

If the football team doesn't start winning soon, maybe they should do something. They are an embarrassment to the school. At least the academics are succeeding.