Corruption Studies, University Sports Division
I can’t decide if the ongoing stories about coaches and administrative salaries (“From the Sideline to the Bottom Line“) are going to have a Lenny Bruce effect– if you repeat something often enough it looses all power to shock– or an “occupy” effect of driving protest by emphasizing just how profoundly greed shapes what are supposed to be institutions devoted to public service.
It makes me wonder if we ought to be advocating for Corruption Studies as a new form of cultural studies; here, we would be studying one of its main branches, the University Sports Division. I think that Corruption Studies would begin with a discussion of the history of the ongoing rise of tuition and fees on the one hand, and student debt on the other, over the course of the last three or four decades.
This history would then be contrasted or juxtaposed with the rise of big time university sports programs and, more specifically, the fantastically inflated salaries of coaches. As the sports programs grow larger– supposedly, at least nominally and at first, as a way to support the universities academic missions– and generate more money, tuition, fees, and debts rise. That’s corruption in a nutshell.