US Educational System Spends too Much Money on Sports

Our Education System Spends too Much Money on Sports

Everyone expects that with the economy going to the drains and federal budget cuts been on the rise, unnecessary spending will be halted or better still, scrapped all together. But this seems not to be the case in our education sector. It seems that as budget cuts are carried out even on core sectors of the economy like transport, this sector is getting its spending priorities all wrong. They are spending their money on non-core activities while under funding their core business which is instructing the students. A lot of money is been spent on sports, which is not a very core aspect of our education system. This practice is rife at all levels of our educational system, from the elementary schools, to colleges and universities.

A look at some of the spendings that are carried out by schools as far as their sporting department is concerned will make it clear as to why other people and I in the society share such sentiments. For example, there is a school in Kentucky that was looking for a new coach. The coach was for their Wildcat basketball program, which the school opines that it is very important for their operations. They made an offer of $35 million to their prospective candidate. This amount was to be paid over a period of eight years. This is a lot of money under any circumstances.

Another sneak view at the ratio of the schools athletic spending as compared to that spent on instructional activities will bring out the same kind of picture, if not worse. This is especially the case for universities and colleges. The ratio of the money that is spent on education is far less to that is spent on athletic and other sporting activities. The expenditure goes to compensation of coaches and other instructors, purchase of equipments for the sporting activities, paying for scholarships for the athletes and publicity among others.

US Educational System Spends too Much Money on Sports

For example, in the year 2006, University of Arkansas spent 56.5% more on athletic activities than on instructional activities. This was followed closely by University of Alabama, which spent 50.2% more on athletics than in instructions. Surely, this is outrageous, as it means that education does not take priority for these schools.

The core mission for any school or educational institution is to impart knowledge on the students. There is no doubt that the knowledge should be all rounded and should cover every aspect of the student’s growth, including physical as well as intellectual development. But when a school spends more money on sports than on education, this is wrong prioritization. Education should take priority at all times. When I say education I mean the instructions that the students receive in classes, as opposed to the instructions offered by physical education and other sporting instructors.

But there are those that argue that the amount of money that is spent on sports is sourced from the sporting departments themselves, not from the school central budget. As such, they argue, the sporting department has the right to use the money however they wish. But the recent economic crunch has seen less than 10% of the sport departments make any positive revenue on their budget. What this has meant is that their expenditure had to be supplemented by the school budget. There is also the school of thought which holds the view that since athletic scholarships help so many students from poor backgrounds to access education, the amount of money that is spent is justified. This may be true, but this money could have been used to educate more than just one student if the spending on sports was reduced.