I made a few posts early in December about attending a football game for the first time in many years. I included some photos and a video which showed the dilapidated off-campus stadium that Florida Atlantic University’s football team had been playing in, and I noted that the university would play in a new stadium on its main campus in Boca Raton this coming September.
Yesterday, FAU put the following animated video on YouTube showing what their shiny new facility will look like. It is quite impressive.
I don’t agree with a public university building an expensive athletic facility in an economic climate in which the state government is drastically cutting back on funding education at all levels and raising student tuition and fees – especially when these conditions existed well before the groundbreaking for the new facility, with ample time for the university to reconsider its priorities.
The university would counter, I’m sure, that very little funding for the new stadium has come from public coffers – that funds were either privately raised from university supporters or came to the university as a result of offering their football team as sacrificial lambs to major college football factories.
In the latter case, FAU contracted to play games at the venues of several major college football powers, knowing full well that their team would not be able to compete against these much superior teams. In return they received large sums of money to offset the costs of their athletic programs and to provide major contributions towards building the stadium. The major colleges have no concern that playing lesser competition would result in lower attendance. Their stadia will be filled to capacity regardless of the opposition. Plus the guaranteed outcome pleases their fans and improves their won-loss records, enhancing their prospects for invitations to major bowl games and their huge financial rewards.
In the past four years FAU played ten away games against such powerhouses as Nebraska, South Carolina, Texas, Michigan State, Minnesota, Kentucky and Florida – losing all of them by a combined score of 416 to 111. The disparity in talent was even greater than the scores would indicate, in that their opponents would early on begin substituting freely with 2nd and 3rd string players.
I’m sure the FAU players enjoyed the experience of playing against these powerful teams in their huge and famous stadia before crowds of 70,000 to 100,00o and all the surrounding spectacle.
I wouldn’t have even the slightest concern were FAU a private institution. However, it is not. As a taxpayer and a firm believer in the vital importance of education I believe these “slaughter” revenues should have been used exclusively for purposes enhancing higher education, and that the football stadium project should have been deferred. Perhaps I am mistaken, but I thought that providing students a quality education at a reasonable cost was the primary mission of the university. …………………………..Silly me! 😉