Current Issues in College Athletics Pt. 1

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In our first installment of Current Issues in College Athletics, two students in the Intro to Sports Administration course discuss two important topics from this area. Here are their thoughts:

By: Adam Pitt

Sex scandals and recruiting violations are very relevant in today’s collegiate athletics and whether it’s outside influences or people who are in the athletic program, brining sex into college athletics will have detrimental affects.   These violations give collegiate athletics a bad reputation.  You would think that coaches and people involved with the athletic programs would know the rules of recruiting and have the four levels of recruiting violations set by the NCAA memorized (1), but it still seems that certain individuals feel the need to break the rules for the ultimate prize, a National Title.

The most recent is the University of Louisville where people who are involved in the men’s basketball team paid escorts to have sexual relations with potential recruits.   In this example potential recruits would come to Louisville, stay the night in the dorms and people affiliated with the basketball team would throw a party for these recruits.  During the party escorts would show up to the dorms and perform sexual acts with these recruits to try and get them to commit to the school (2). The NCAA and law enforcement are still investigating this scandal to find out who was involved and who knew what, so we won’t know the final outcome until they finish the investigation.   The Louisville basketball team has since put a self-imposed ban on itself, which was no postseason play for the current season.  This is a major violation in the NCAA, not only did minors consume alcohol on school property but they also paid women to have sex with them with people from the basketball program calling the shots.  All of this was done just to try and get a high school kid to come to their school.

Its not just Louisville though, the University of Colorado also had a recruiting scandal involving sex and alcohol.  In 1997 it was reported that a women was sexually assaulted at a party and the suspects were recruits but no charges were ever filed (3).   Over the course of 4 years Colorado football players and recruits continued to violate recruiting rules and not to mention sexually assault women on these recruiting visits (3).

The implications of these scandals go far beyond affecting only the schools involved. It affects past, present and future collegiate athletes, coaches, administrators, and other universities that participate in the NCAA.  These violations and scandals will put doubt in all the recruits that the program ever got.   It will also make everyone question programs in the future whenever they get a high profile recruit.   It is imperative that these types of scandals need to be stopped but I am not sure how.  They probably will continue to happen under the radar as long as the risk is worth the reward.  Schools should always try and get the best recruits to come to their school but not at the expense of corrupting them and putting them in situations that will affect their futures and the future of the athletic program.

 

Sources:

NCAA .(August, 1, 2013). New Violation Structure. Retrieved on March 11th , 2016 from

http://www.ncaa.org/about/resources/media-center/news/new-violation-structure

Barr.J. (March 13, 2016).  Louisville recruits told NCAA about sex, stripper parties. ESPN. Retrieved on March 12th,  2016 from

http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/14951432/three-former-louisville-basketball-recruits-told-ncaa-investigators-attended-stripper-parties-had-sex-them

USA Today. (February 19th, 2004). Timeline of events surrounding CU recruiting scandal. Retrieved on March 12th, 2016 from

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/college/football/big12/2004-02-19-timeline_x.htm

By: James Campbell

    College athletic departments are facing major funding challenges as costs rise and financial support from various sources falls.  Departments are spending more money per student-athlete than the university spends on the general student population, and that divide continues to grow (D1 Public Colleges).  With a majority of athletics departments spending more than their revenue stream can pay for, they turn to the university to offset that deficit.  But as state funding to universities drops, the athletic departments are having to become more self-sufficient and cover more of their spending deficit.  When a department needs to make a capital improvement, they are finding it more difficult to raise the necessary funds to make these improvements.  However, a growing trend could provide a new source of revenue for athletic departments.

Using crowdfunding as a means to raise money for a project has been gaining popularity the past few years.  Crowdfunding, explained more in depth here, creates an avenue for athletic departments to tap into their fan base, and through smaller donations for a specific need, find the money necessary to move forward with their improvement plans.  A few major universities have already used crowdfunding to their advantage. In the summer of 2013, Michigan State University launched a crowdfunding campaign to purchase a new mascot outfit.  They received over $15,000 from 474 donors for this campaign.  It was so successful, Michigan State decided to use crowdfunding again and raised over $5,000 for a softball scholarship to honor a longtime employee who lost a battle with cancer (Attwood).  Recently, Purdue University launched a crowdfunding drive to help raise money for new LED lights inside their basketball arena.  Setting a goal of $100,000, they have raised just under $22,000 so far.  Unlike Michigan State, Purdue goal is to raise a small portion of the money needed for the project, not the entire amount.  This is an example of the different ways that crowdfunding can benefit athletics departments and their projects.  In Michigan State’s case, they used it to pay for the entire cost of a small project, while Purdue chose to use crowdfunding to cover a small portion of a expensive, large project.  A reason for this is that Michigan State was raising funds for a very popular item: a new mascot outfit.  This would be an easy item to get fans of the school to send money for; it is easy to rally support for a popular item.  In Purdue’s case, the addition of new lights for an arena would not elicit the same kind of excitement among its fans.  Combine this with an expensive project, it makes more sense to try to raise a portion of the amount.

Crowdfunding can provide athletic departments with a new revenue stream for certain items.  It cannot replace traditional donor contributions and the need to find large-sum donors, but it does provide a way for any fan of the school to become involved in a project.  Properly used, crowdfunding can create opportunities for new projects or to address problem areas without straining already stretched budgets.  By connecting with alumni and fan networks, the department can find success in getting large numbers of small donations, which can add up quickly, leading to realization of department goals.

Sources:

Attwood, Emily. (2014, February). Crowdfunding Basics for Athletic & Recreation Organizations. Athletic Business. Retrieved from http://www.athleticbusiness.com/fundraising/crowdfunding-basics-for-athletic-recreation-organizations.html

D-I Public Colleges Spending 3 to 6 Times More Per Athlete Than to Educate Each Student. (2013, January 16). Coach and Athletic Director. Retrieved from https://coachad.com/news/d-i-public-colleges-spending-3-to-6-times-more-per-athlete-than-to-educate-each-student/

Goldman, Stuart. (2016, March). Purdue States Crowdfunding Campaign for LED Lights. Athletic Business. Retrieved from http://www.athleticbusiness.com/stadium-arena/purdue-starts-crowdfunding-campaign-for-led-lights.html

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