Debating the Investment

November 13, 2017

The University of South Florida St. Petersburg, Fla., recently held a student government-sponsored forum to discuss the university's potential investment of $1.5 million in an athletics program.

According to The Crow's Nest, the school must finance eight sports in order to join the NAIA and the Sun Conference. In a feasibility study, Kurt Patberg, senior vice president of Athletic Staffing and Consultants, suggested implementing cross country, golf, soccer, softball and tennis.

Patberg said that student fees would pay for 85 percent of the funding, with the student athletic fee increasing from $2.45 per credit hour to about $14.46 per credit hour.

“The cost is the biggest downside,” Patberg said, “The money has to come from somewhere.”

Patberg said the upside is that schools with athletics do better at recruiting, even among non-athletes, and tend to have students with better grades who are more likely to stay at the school.

“I’ve seen very few schools become movers and shakers in the community without athletics,” said Patberg.

Some attendees at the meeting questioned whether it was wise to spend so much money. 

“There are better ways to spend a million dollars,” Juliet Dipreta, a sophomore mass communications major who attended the forum, said. “What about getting a parking garage that can actually fit all of our students?”

Andres Sanchez, a sophomore who majors in mass communications, said that while he was in favor of having an athletic program, he found it unlikely that people would come out for games.

“I am all for athletics on campus,” Sanchez said. “I just don’t think we are ready yet.”

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