Separation of Sport and School

Recently the University of Florida announced that they were planning to cut their Computer Science program. This is a travesty for education and the university, but this is not the point of this post.

Steven Salzburg contributed an article to Forbes titled University of Florida Eliminates Computer Science Department, Increases Athletic Budgets. Hmm. He raised several important points and then ruins the article with this paragraph,

Meanwhile, the athletic budget for the current year is $99 million, an increase of more than $2 million from last year.  The increase alone would more than offset the savings supposedly gained by cutting computer science.

He then throws in, Now, I’m not saying that UF has chosen football over science, but with the headline and the above paragraph, that is exactly what everyone is reading. If you read the comments, he does state that the title might be unfair, but the title has not changed and the comment is unlikely to be read by most.

Here are the important facts that are glossed over:

Don’t get me wrong, not all schools make money. Many large schools do so, but not all. While athletics are important, when they become a cost center for the school, the equation changes.

This isn’t that situation and anyone acting the role as “reporter” should make that clear.

There are real issues down in Florida that need to be addressed. Implying that people are spending money on athletics instead of education isn’t the way to fix things.


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