Athletics 1, academics 0

The University of Florida recently decided to drastically shrink its computer science department, a move that will save the university around $1.4 million, says Abir Qasem, director of academic computing at Bridgewater College, and Tanya Gupta, a senior resource management officer at World Bank, for the Washington Post. At the same time, the university’s athletics budget went up by around $2 million. Although there has been a strong reaction against this move in the media, there have been those who supported the UF decision, saying that it was an expression of the free market. For instance, an article in The Atlantic noted that UF Athletics, as a nonprofit entity, returns part of its profit to the university and also receives generous contributions from alumni and others. This line of reasoning implies that athletics should not be cut, as they contribute directly to the college’s bottom line. However the argument being made is seriously flawed. Let’s explore why…

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