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From the blog City Beat:

Excerpts from: Robin Hood in Reverse:  How universities force working-class students to pay thousands of dollars in hidden fees to athletic departments awash in red ink.

“A CityBeat investigation of the eight largest public universities in Ohio in the Football Bowl Subdivision found that with one exception, college administrators and trustees impose hidden fees and invisible taxes on thousands of working-class students who pay tens of millions of dollars in subsidies to keep money-losing athletic departments afloat….”
“…Over the past decade, annual sports spending — and subsidies — at the University of Akron more than doubled. During these years, students paid more than $130 million in athletic fees, records show. In 2014, Akron Athletic Director Tom Wistrcill used $13,000 to purchase bobble-head likenesses of then-President Luis Proenza to express his appreciation to the president for having “ensured that the university provides our student athletes and coaches with first class facilities.” Meanwhile, trustees have raised tuition and slashed academic spending, including the elimination of more than 100 jobs….”

“….“I don’t think that’s fair,” says Ellyn DeLisle, a second-year fashion merchandising student at the University of Akron. “I don’t know how else they can get funds, but I feel like there has to be a way other than charging students and not telling them.”

David Ridpath, an associate professor of sports administration at Ohio University, is familiar with DeLisle’s plight. After spending years studying athletic subsidies at public universities throughout Ohio, he found most school officials try to hide the diversion of money.

“They don’t want people to see it,” Ridpath says. “Universities don’t respond until they get embarrassed.”

“…Frank, an economics professor at Cornell University, concluded, “The empirical literature provides not a shred of evidence to suggest that an across-the-board cutback in spending on athletics would reduce either donations by alumni or applications by prospective students.”…

“Why should I be paying $1,000 in athletic fees?” says Shayda Ashraf, a second-year pharmacy student. “I could be spending it on a semester’s worth of books.”

Read the entire article here on the CIty Beat blog

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