College sports arms race

Disclaimer- in the grand scheme of today’s reality this discussion is not important at all but could be an interesting discussion for our HI family. My thoughts apply to revenue sports in college only - Pro sports are not my thing.

For a while I’ve wondered how long the “big bucks” generated by college sports could be sustained. I’ve mentioned on this board that at some point there could be a “tipping point” where money slows down and changes have to be made. No one could predict this situation (more less me) but it’s officially an issue.

In the last couple of years fans have more and more opted to view on TV so ticket sales are down (for many schools). Obviously TV pays much of the bills and as does donor contributions. Huge salaries for coaches (cheating Cal 8 million a year) big bucks spending on stadiums, facilities and millions for many schools still paying ex-coaches.

So what happens? Contracts are in effect for all sorts of things including huge payments to coaches. Scholarship money is a big expense - what if the NCAA adds a year to eligibility and expands the roster limits for fairness more money going out.

Anyway - wondering what your thoughts are on this subject? And again please understand that this is not important with the pandemic killing people. Just thought a discussion could help pass the time.

Prayers for healing in our nation and world.

I think this will definitely impact building projects not on the table now. I don’t see how they can reverse the building of the baseball facilities. Money has been raised at this point to cover some of it.

I believe Alabama is in the process of improving its football stadium. I don’t know if work has started or its just planned.

Apart from doing some work on Bud Walton, if we get the baseball project done what else is on the wish list?

I think coaches are going to be asked to take a cut in pay contract or no contract.

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The indoor track center is going to be renovated and there will be a new track operations building built at McDonnell Field. Longterm, Barnhill is probably going to be replaced.

LD, this is something I have contemplated over the last few years. The arms race has been active at a fever pitch for 20 years or more (always been there to some degree; but not nearly at the level we’ve seen recently) even as social trends are going in the other direction - w/regard to in-person attendance. At some point, those two things can’t continue to co-exist.

In the bigger picture, beyond athletics, I’ve wondered how many 18-21 year olds will physically need to be on campus to get their education 15 years from now? I don’t know the percentages/raw numbers (probably out there if I took the time to do some research, which I don’t have at the moment), but I’d suspect 50% or more of college kids today take some or several classes online - at least partially (and I’m speaking prior to COVID). So how can the schools continue to draw the revenue they need from students to support their physical footprint/employees?

I just think there’s going to be a dramatic shift in the higher education paradigm “soon”. I may be around to see it; I may not be. But this current forced exodus from campus may well accelerate whatever was/is coming. People are being forced to learn how to adapt remotely; many may find they like it and/or it is more cost effective.

I know several people who were in the process of building new homes. They have halted construction. One of the issues is that they are not sure they are going to be able to get building supplies. How many things are going to keep rolling across the country? No one knows.

2008 will be a bump in the road compared to this in regards to the economy. Scary times.

There are many things I am glad about. That I’m 65 is both good and bad. Bad that I’m in the vulnerable age group, even if barely. I am glad I live in Norfork right now. I’m in a rural area. Less people is good right now. My closest neighbor is my daughter and she’s 800 yards away. Beyond that, I can’t see far enough in the future to know what else that’s both good and bad.

Colleges are going to charge as much per hour for online education as they do for in-person. And many if not all of the fees will remain in place. Colleges may even do better financially with this new paradigm because the cost of maintaining facilities, providing food service, paying utilities, etc., for on-campus students may be reduced.

I have some personal experience with this. My son thought he had completed his degree requirements when he left UA in 2014. He hadn’t; he was one class short, but didn’t find that out for two years, and didn’t do anything about that for three more years. Finally he decided to finish the degree last fall through UA Online. Even though he was in South Carolina, he had to pay $76 per credit hour in fees plus tuition, which was the same per hour as if he’d been sitting in a classroom. But he’ll finally go on Senior Walk six years late.

As for the arms race, they’ll finish BWS and the track project and replace Barnhill. I also think BWA will be renovated to increase revenue, decrease capacity and make it more usable for things other than basketball (like concerts). As part of that process I think gymnastics will move from Barnhill or its replacement to BWA.

My oldest daughter is taking on-line classes to get her Masters in administration. It’s not cheap. But she is able to do it now because she’s not at school as much. The commute time (morning and afternoon) for her drive from Fayetteville to a school in Rogers is enough of a time saving to get a lot of her on-line work done each night. She is still working during the day when she would be at school. She is a math facilitator, but most of her work now is training teachers to do their classes in Zoom.

I suspect things are changing by the minute as they discover new ways to teach on-line at the elementary school age.

One interesting plus is that they were remodeling her school in Rogers. The work was painstakingly slow for the construction crew because much of their work could not be done with children in the school. They are working at a much faster rate now that no one is in the building or the newly added portable/temporary classrooms.

I don’t understand the online class thing… how do they keep you from cheating on tests??

On line only can do so much. By far the most and best learning comes from experiences and hands on projects. Classroom is really a small part at what goes on at the University Level - at least in the sciences. I cannot speak for other parts. I started my Research Project the second semester of my Freshman year. Class work rapidly became secondary.

Well over half the requirement for a Masters is the research project and it’s publication. That percentage is much, much higher for a PhD. I have a student who just changed to a PhD program and it only required one more class, but a whole lot more detailed research and subsequent publication. There is only one place to do that, and that is not online for sure.

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There’s helpful technology that makes cheating more difficult but, basically, you can’t. Of course, cheating occurs in face to face classes as well but it’s easier with online tests.

Yeah Cheating has always been a part of the school system… I have other teacher friends who say the online program is good but it’s really very very hard to keep them from cheating, but it is the world we live in today so you got to do your best to cooperate.

I took online courses to finish my undergraduate degree and I took at least one in grad school. My wife’s Ed.S was completed entirely online. To answer the question about testing, you take your tests at a testing center in front of a camera while someone monitors you. Some online courses, like other courses, only require written papers and not tests.

Online courses cost the same amount per credit hour as courses you attend, including the student fees. I don’t think the universities are losing money on online courses. You might say that a student doesn’t have to live in a dorm if they are online-only, but there are students who live with their parents and commute to school every day, too.

If anything, the online courses allow the universities to make a little extra because of the extensions that are available online. For instance if your class is to finish on April 21, you can pay a fee and extend the deadline to July 21. You can extend an online course up to two times at the UA.

Most areas of undergraduate study require hands-on learning to the extent that online-only courses are never going to be a viable option.

Joe Burrow only took online courses at LSU.

I think it is becoming more common to take graduate-level courses and above only online, like Burrow did at LSU or my wife did for her specialist’s degree. But I don’t think you’ll ever see online classes replace the classroom setting for undergrads, especially as it pertains to one’s field of study.

I seem to remember Hicks and Starkel doing their grad work in Fayetteville online. Anyone remember that at all?

Yes, they did. Ben told me it took him 1 hour per day. Never asked Nick.