Earlier this week I wrote about the supposed “business” of athletics at North Dakota State University.
The school is host to a fantastically successful football program which has won seven Division I FCS championships dating back to 2011. Yet, despite all of that success, the athletics programs at the school are propped up by millions of dollars in subsidies paid by taxpayers and students. The existence of the various sports programs on the NDSU campus makes the cost of operating and attending NDSU more expensive for both students and the State of North Dakota.
I’ve been making this argument for years, both about NDSU and collegiate athletics in general, and the response I typically get from supporters of the status quo is that the added expense is worth it. Successful athletic programs raise the profile of the institutions they’re associated with.
It’s marketing, in other words. Here’s a representative response to my argument from Twitter ...