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Spending on Varsity Teams

Last week when we noted the Brown Daily Herald’s ranking of recruiting expenditures in the Ivy League — the College was in the bottom half of the class — we figured that the same parsimony would characterize Dartmouth’s overall spending on varsity athletics. So back we went to the U.S. Department of Education’s Equity in Athletics website to see who is spending how much on men’s and women’s varsity teams. Surprise, surprise:

Ivy Varsity Expenses 2016 Chart.jpg

Thumbnail image for Ivy Varsity Expenses 2016 Table.jpgNow keep in mind that these figures are provided by the schools themselves to the Department of Education, and one would expect that they all follow the same accounting conventions. What to make of figures that vary hugely between schools? (Note: Columbia and Penn don’t have hockey teams — their loss, as I see it.)

The College has not done all that well over the past decades in athletics, so we are not getting bang for the buck. And Princeton’s spending is in the middle of the pack, yet the Tigers have amassed more championships than anyone in the Ivies.

Are we top-heavy with too many non-productive, but highly paid senior managers? Or are we bloated all through the staff ranks, and is AD Harry Sheehey unwilling to buck the College’s “nobody gets fired” administrative culture?

It’s a mystery.

Addendum: An alumnus writes in:

The numbers do not make sense. I would suspect that our number includes an overly large allocation from bloated Parkhurst.

Addendum: And another:

Good to see spending for the 90% of students who don’t participate in varsity sports. That has long-term benefits. In general, students seem fatter than in our day.

Addendum: I’ll have more on this issue next week.


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