Cut athletic funds

Since the IBHE is asking NIU to reassess its priorities and reallocate funds toward those programs which are closest to the main missions of the university, I can think of no program more peripheral to those missions than the athletic program.

The purpose of a university is education, not fun and games. Many students are not interested in Northern’s athletic entertainment and it is unfair to tax all students for the entertainment of some students.

It is not as though there is a dearth of sports entertainment. One can watch football on TV on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. One can watch basketball other nights of the week. For real addicts there are two TV channels devoted exclusively to sports.

Why must Northern be in the entertainment business? If sports is supposed to be character-building I have to ask when did Northern enter the business of reforming delinquents? Don’t our students and players already have character?

Why must we allocate more funds to athletics than to any other program in the university? Spending that money on any other program would be an improvement.

Spend it hiring English instructors, on a fourth paving of the MLK mall, on buying more overhead projectors (which are scarce), on faculty raises, on computer terminals, etc. As priorities go I can see no reason for the athletic program to receive its present allocations. Justify it.

It seems that the main reason we spend so much money on athletics is to satisfy the undying dreams of middle-aged administrators who still want to be Saturday’s Hero. If they can’t play on the team, at least they can own one of their own.

Then they can justify trips to Florida, Reno, etc., as public relations events in which they satisfy the adolescent dreams of other middle-aged sports aspirants.

Quit wasting our money, John La Tourette. I’ll believe you are serious about the budget whey you cut that of the athletic program in half. Don’t “reform” the program, cut or abolish it.

Joseph Harry