Sports vs. education — who wins?

What should a university’s mission be? Reader and frequent correspondent Mary Collier asked that in a recent letter in which she wonders about some recent University of Dayton news.

“‘Record UD Arena redo takes flight,’ May 12: So the leadership of UD, like most of higher education, has decided to abuse its non-profit tax exempt educational status to serve as a sports entertainment business enterprise. Where is the public outcry? We, the public, are funding and subsidizing this through our tax code. The $72 million fundraising effort — “the largest project in UD’s 167 year history … will cement the venue as the region’s epicenter of college basketball.

“Is that part of their mission statement?” she asks. “On the same front page is an article, ‘Ohio faculty could face scrutiny.’ Ohio and federal lawmakers should also address the elephant in the room. Schools and universities are overspending on sports, athletes, coaches, athletics directors and sports facilities to the detriment of education and students and more critical public needs.”

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