It is amateur sports.
The college sports spending race continues which is baffling in that people connected with the National Collegiate Athletic Association contend that many sports programs lose money. If college sports is such a money loser, why is it still in business? There really aren’t any audits of big-time college sports programs so school officials are hopeful that people will trust them and take their word that college sports programs lose money. But if that is the case, why has the University of Nebraska embarked on a plan to build a $155 million athletic facility that is being constructed mainly for the school’s football team. The school hopes the building will open by 2022. The Nebraska football program will get a new locker room, a strength and conditioning center, an athletic medicine facility, an equipment room, meeting rooms, coaches’ offices and an outdoor practice facility. There will also be a training table and academic support rooms for so-called student-athletes who play for Nebraska’s 24 sports teams. But make no mistake, this is a football building so Nebraska can keep up with Alabama and Clemson’s football programs. The thought is a beautiful facility will sway star high school players to a program.
The University of Georgia recently announced it was constructing a football operations building that will cost about $80 million. There are also plans at Kansas State and Central Florida University to upgrade existing facilities with the theory that high school players go to a school because of magnificent facilities. Even Rutgers University has joined the let’s upgrade our facility crowd with a new locker room. But big-time programs won’t give players a nickel for providing entertainment that brings in big money from television partners, club seats and luxury box ticket holders and marketing partners. The players might get an education and besides they are student-athletes and not college employees.
Evan Weiner is a commentator, lecturer and author about the Business and Politics of Sports. His books are available on iTunes. https://books.apple.com/us/author/evan-weiner/id595575191