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Editor’s Note: The following column by UI Director of Athletics Gary Barta will first appear in its entirety in the October 2014 edition of Hawk Talk Monthly, the UI Athletics Department’s monthly e-magazine. The October 2014 edition of HTM will be available later today HERE.
IOWA CITY, Iowa — The editorial board of the Iowa City Press-Citizen recently joined the national discussion by sharing its view that students involved in intercollegiate athletics at institutions like the University of Iowa should be allowed to unionize; should be paid, at a minimum, for the full cost of attending college; should be reimbursed for all the healthcare related to their on-field injuries; and should have some share in all the money that the colleges and conferences make through marketing players’ names and likenesses.“While I am vehemently opposed to a “pay-for-play” model of intercollegiate athletics, I am in full support of an enhanced and improved definition of “scholarship” and continuing to provide a superior educational and athletics experience for all student-athletes involved in intercollegiate athletics.”
These – along with a handful of other “student-athlete well-being” topics – are some of the many issues my peers across the nation and I are focused on at the present time. While I am vehemently opposed to a “pay-for-play” model of intercollegiate athletics, I am in full support of an enhanced and improved definition of “scholarship” and continuing to provide a superior educational and athletics experience for all student-athletes involved in intercollegiate athletics.
The topic of some student-athletes being compensated for the use of their likeness is still being vetted through the legal system. I envision change in this area, and for the solution somehow being part of an enhanced and improved cost of attendance scholarship model.
I do think it is appropriate to bring this discussion down to the local level and, specifically, what is happening at the University of Iowa.
The intercollegiate athletics program at the University of Iowa is 100 percent self-sustaining. This means that no tax dollars or support from the General Fund is used to fund the operation of the UI’s 24 sports programs and Finkbine Golf Course. We are proud of the fact that the University of Iowa is one of a handful of institutions across the country which is successful at funding their intercollegiate athletics program totally independent of tax-payer support.
The UI Athletics Department also pays to the UI the full value of the in-state and out-of-state scholarships it awards its student-athletes – an expense that will exceed $10 million in 2014-15. This is not the case nationwide; some intercollegiate athletics programs pay the in-state rate for all of its scholarship student-athletes. The UI Athletics Department also pays the UI for utility consumption and maintenance of intercollegiate athletics facilities including maintenance of green space, snow removal, and custodial services. That total cost in 2013-14 approached $5 million. Again, this is not always the case at our peer institutions.
You can read the full story in the October 2014 edition of Hawk Talk Month which will be available HERE later today.
Oct. 1, 2014