At a rate of $51,000 to $10,388, Central Michigan University spends five times as much on its student-athletes than it does on its students.
Five times seems like a lot, but is it really?
While some will argue the term is student-athlete and the students should come first, it’s important to remember not only do athletes bring money and students to the university, but the amount of scholarships, equipment, travel and food it takes to get athletes to CMU and then around the country drives up that number.
Collegiate athletics in themselves require large amounts of funds to promote their respective programs. Some might say the cost of advertising and marketing of a university’s athletic programs is justifiable, because it is through this promotion that a university draws attention to itself, gains students and name recognition.
Taking all of those factors into consideration might make the amount of money spent on athletics justifiable, but there are still examples around campus that make us wonder if we are making athletics too much of a priority.
Some buildings on campus such as Anspach and Grawn halls have seemed like they’ve been falling apart in recent years.
Last summer, Anspach was fortunate enough to be afforded an upgrade, but it was the first significant renovation to be carried through since it was built in the 1960s.
It is hard to believe this building, the busiest on campus due to a bulk of the University Program courses being housed there, would not be higher on the priority list.
There’s also the grossly outdated and small Brooks Hall, which, after nearly a decade of proposals, is finally being supplemented with a new biosciences building to accommodate the growing number of biology majors coming to CMU year after year.
Academics should be a top priority to a university, and more of the university’s time and money should be going toward it.
It is clear that is not the case at CMU when looking at the length of time it took to follow through on the aforementioned renovations, but something that did sprout up uncharacteristically quickly on campus is the Events Center.
These kind of flashy choices, including the College of Medicine, might draw in new students initially, but when these same students take UP courses on other parts of campus, they will be sorely disappointed that, while they can cheer on the basketball team at the Events Center, they will suffer from unreliable temperate conditions when they attend classes.
It’s obvious while academics at CMU hold value, when push comes to shove, athletics are of greater importance. That’s a trend we’ve seen not only here at CMU, but nationwide, and it is about time that should change.