College Sports: Is This Nuts or What?

March 21, 2013

“The NCAA Tournament is a reminder that the economics of college sports is bonkers.”

That’s the headline of a blog post by Neil Irwin on Ezra Klein’s Wonkblog for the Washington Post. He’s right, of course, and you don’t even have to read the piece to know that. Really. You know that already. But go ahead and read the piece.

I especially enjoyed this:

“It makes no real sense that the job of educating the workforce and the job of offering sports entertainment should be provided by the same institutions. No one in Europe is trying to recreate our system, getting people excited about Stuttgart State playing the Sorbonne in soccer. It would seem to violate the idea of specialization: Is there any reason to think that the managers who are best at running an educational institution are the same as those who are best at running a minor league sports league?”

Nope. No reason at all. It makes even less sense that we should shelter this kind of economic activity from taxation on the fiction that Division I athletics has anything to do with education.

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About Doug Bennett

Doug Bennett is Emeritus President and Professor of Politics at Earlham College. He has a wife, Ellen, and two sons, Tommy (born 1984) and Robbie (born 2003).
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