As you watch the June 12th NCAA Football Final Four games, or any other of the NCAA’s scheduled games, please keep in mind that these games are being underwritten by your taxes. If your job is anything like my job is, then you are considering a big income tax refund coming later this year. While a much-needed taxpayer savings, what most Americans won’t realize is that all of these NCAA games are generating more money for the NCAA than even a professional baseball team, and that millions of children and teenagers are being negatively impacted.
When you think of college sports, you think of individual sports, not the sport of college itself. You could envision two friends, both talented athletes, one in a state dominated by college football powerhouses such as Alabama and Florida, and the other in the state of Ohio, whose parents are school-educated professionals. Since you happen to reside in the latter state, you think very highly of Ohio State and view the school’s football program with great admiration. Who knows, someday those friends could one day be teammates, with Ohio State’s college football program bringing in big dollars for that state.
But consider this.
How much would Ohio State’s football program cost Ohio State if it were paid by the state? The answer is roughly $1,900,000,000!
How would Ohio State handle this large sum if the school were paid? Well, based on the article that appeared in USA Today last week, by the time it was completed, Ohio State already had built a $24,879,000 training center, a $7,788,000 weightlifting gym, a $3,000,000 sports medicine facility, a $4,225,000 basketball practice gym, a $500,000 football hall of fame and a couple hundred thousand feet of fencing fence. Add in a couple of million on a stadium reconstruction and you’ll have nearly $300 million worth of building costs. Talk about over building!
The newly revealed football facility at Ohio State is basically the National Basketball Association’s Oklahoma City Thunder’s practice gym, circa 2002. For more information about how the Oklahoma City Thunder’s practice gym differed from the practice gym at Ohio State’s future football facility, please see the Urban Meyer Clinic in preparation for June 12th’s NCAA Championship game, where you can get your picture taken with an Oklahoma City Thunder player, even if it’s on your personal turf. The proceeds from your photo shoot with the Thunder players (anyone look as if you were expecting a picture with legendary coach Bobby Knight?) will go to the Urban Meyer Clinic.
Compare that to the current USGA National Club Championship held in New York State in March, 2015. The USGA would obviously prefer to hold their tournament in America, where there is a significant number of professional golfers, making it a much more desirable event for the media. But because of budgetary constraints, the USGA held their event in Australia, India, Indonesia, Fiji, Zambia, and Sri Lanka. Yes, this is a problem for fans and for the USGA. But, it is also a problem for the large number of kids who would not likely have the resources to travel to India, Indonesia, Zambia, or Sri Lanka to compete at the national level, so the more USGA decision makers can make decisions like these the better.