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Athletics: The Real Numbers

Following posts last week that described statistics on the U.S. Department of Education’s Equity in Athletics website regarding the College’s relative spending on the recruiting of athletes and the overall budget for the Athletics Department’s varsity teams, AD Harry Sheehy has written in to detail the intricacies of federal reporting and the true — and very modest — cost of Dartmouth athletics:

Sheehy on Athletics.jpg

Harry Sheehy’s precise number — that only $11.6 million (1.2%) of Dartmouth’s total budget goes directly to Athletics — should give everyone pause. Athletics is an area where the College’s students reap enormous benefits for a very modest net outlay. (How often do I get to write that?)

Addendum: The $11.6 million figures covers not only the College’s varsity teams, but also the Zimmerman Fitness Center, club teams, intramural leagues, and all other fitness-related activities at Dartmouth.

Addendum: An alumnus who is a close observer of the College writes in:

Hi Joe. I know you have been a big Sheehy fan for a long time. His email to you made a big impression on me… the content, the tone, the thoughtful analysis, and that he took the time to write. Thx for posting it.

Addendum: An alumnus writes in:

I appreciated your post on Dartblog and Harry’s response and detail. Let’s say for argument’s sake that the $11.6 million is allocated mostly (or at least more) to the women’s teams since they are less able to fund with ticket sales and alumni donations (although this is changing with time). In recent years, Dartmouth has had success or near-success with Xc, Softball and new sport Women’s rugby for winning Ivy Championships in women’s sports (so contenders in 3 for 17). I am impressed with Harry’s moves with the volleyball program, and I am hopeful in the near future we will be competing for a Ivy Championship year there too. I don’t have insight into the other teams but my sense is it is improving.

It looks like the high water mark for Dartmouth wins is 4 for 17 women’s Ivy Championships in 1994 to 1995.

I think by 2020 let’s hope and forecast that we are 5+ Ivy League Champions in women’s sports. The potential is there and the culture fits.

I’m one voice but that is a great return on $11.6 million. And I while generally am loathe to delve into women/men allocation and Title Ix useless debates, I think this is something that all men and women of Dartmouth should celebrate.

Remember Abbey D’Agostino. What’s the value of that character?


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