MINOT, N.D. — Big-time collegiate athletics programs, like the football team at North Dakota State University, are a drain on university resources. They inflate the cost of attendance and the cost of public institutions to taxpayers. Yet the defenders of these programs insist they are a boon to the universities that host them.
They’re good marketing, we’re told.
High-profile sports programs are the “front porch” of the university, enhancing alumni support and bolstering student recruitment efforts, we’re supposed to believe.
And yet, at NDSU, enrollment has been in decline, to the point where university President David Cook is now sounding the alarms of a budget crisis , and it’s happening despite the NDSU football team winning nine national championships since 2011.
We have to ask: If football championships bring revenues and enrollment, then why is NDSU finding itself in a financial quagmire?