By Ken Reed

The University of California, Berkeley is one of the finest universities in the country. However, that premier academic status could be in jeopardy if the school’s administration maintains its misplaced priority of feeding the big-time college sports machine on campus.

Earlier this week, The Daily Californian, published an op-ed by the Berkeley Faculty Association, titled “School First, Sports Second.”

The op-ed was spurred by “several years of deepening faculty concern about the place of athletics at UC Berkeley.”

During a period of time when budgets were being slashed across the Berkeley campus, Berkeley administrators authorized the construction of a $321 million, debt-financed, stadium renovation. They also approved a new student-athlete high performance center, which required another $124 million in debt financing. The high performance center will be used by less than one percent of the student body.

“These issues merely add to ongoing concern about the huge sums from the Chancellor’s Discretionary Fund that have been used to cover yearly operating deficits of Intercollegiate Athletics — nearly $100 million in the past decade,” according to the op-ed.

If athletics regularly trumps academics at one of the world’s best universities, chances are bleak that the rest of our colleges and universities will be able to properly manage athletics and put academics first.

The Big-Time College Sports Machine continues to run out of control.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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