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Friday, April 7, 2006

Woodling

Woodling: Begging by KU improper

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I don't pretend to follow Kansas University student politics, but in skimming the campus newspaper the other day I noticed an election is coming up next week.

Student Senate seats are the main prize, but something else caught my eye in the University Daily Kansan. KU students also will vote on three referendums involving their fees.

One referendum calls for a reduction of $46 in fees. That one should fly.

Another involves a $1.50 increase per semester to fund something called Multicultural Education Enhancement. That sounds like a good thing, and what's another buck-50?

The third is a request for $20 per student per semester to fund women's and non-revenue intercollegiate sports. Of that 20 bucks, $15 would be used to build a boathouse for the women's rowing team.

A boathouse for the rowing team???

Certainly, a boathouse would be nice, but the KU rowing team has existed for 11 years as a varsity sport without one. And this 20-buck fee is in addition to the 20 smackers the students have been shelling out every semester since 1996 to help fund women's and non-revenue sports.

In other words, the student athletic fee would double from $20 to $40 a semester.

It's not unusual for student activity fees to help fund women's athletics, although not necessarily at the major universities - like Kansas - that command a king's ransom in television money, endorsements and football bowl payouts.

Still, there is no question women's athletics are a drain on athletic department budgets everywhere. The KU athletic department underwrites 10 women's varsity programs, and not one pays its own way.

In fact, the only women's sport that even has a chance of avoiding red ink is basketball, but the average crowds at KU women's games would at least have to double to reach the break-even point.

Salaries and travel are the main expenses. Take the KU softball team. During February and March, coach Tracy Bunge took her players to weekend tournaments in Tulsa, Okla.; Houston; Las Vegas; Hawaii; and Palm Springs, Calif.

Expensive road trips are not unusual, though. Other major-school non-revenue women's programs do the same thing. It's all about matching men's and women's spending under federal Title IX guidelines.

Title IX is the reason KU made rowing and soccer women's varsity sports in 1995 and the reason KU dropped men's tennis and swimming five years ago.

By and large, football and men's basketball always have been the primary revenue sources for college athletics, although you can't sniff at $7 million in donations through KU's Williams Fund.

Kansas University's athletic department is a multi-million dollar business. It is so corporate-oriented that it has 10 executives - or administrators, as they call them - who earn six-figure salaries. Six of those 10, in fact, earn more than $155,000 a year.

Maybe it's just me, but somehow it doesn't seem right that a big-time athletic department should be asking for a handout to build something as mundane as a boathouse.

Comments

Jen Catloth 11 years, 7 months ago

Hmmm, this guys an @ss, reminds me of a certain Ryan Green. This must have been his mentor

Risa Kearn 11 years, 7 months ago

I can't believe a man who obviously has no concept of what collegiate athletics is about is allowed to write a sports column. Chuck Woodling has been an enemy of women's athletics for years and this article is just one more example of his sexist views. For those who are interested, the following article is about the ONE other division one school without a boathouse, Cincinnati. Their team sued the university, and won. Read the article. Their facilities sound almost identical to ours. http://news.cincypost.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051129/NEWS01/511290354 If Mr. Woodling thinks non-revenue womens sports are useless, then I guess the only college sports that should exist are football and mens basketball because most mens sports don't generate revenue either. Athletics is part of the college experience. It is not meant to be a money maker; it's a character builder and a means for some to be able to attend school and represent their university with pride.

Jen Catloth 11 years, 7 months ago

I copied this over from the LJworld Forum.

Posted by JHawkalum (anonymous) on April 7, 2006 at 10:17 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Are you kidding? Spend a week shadowing a KU Women's Rower and then try to tell me a boathouse is not deserved. But that would mean leaving that comfy chair in the News Center and exposing yourself to conditions most people would not, let alone to compete/train in. You're right, how dare the rowing team try to represent the University of Kansas in a way even remotely equal to others..we should just leave that to the basketball team..but oh wait they can't even seem to make it past the first round in the NCAA tournament! I know, they still bring in, with football, the majority of the revenue which is awesome, but does that mean the other sports should just fade away? I don't think so! If the teams at KU can perform top notch across the board, KU Athletics & the University as a whole will be better. If that means a one-time boathouse investment for the Women's Rowing Team, and various improvements for other 'lesser' sports, then it should be something students and people of the community are proud to say they contributed to! Rock Chalk Jayhawk & Go KU Rowing - Good luck against K-State tomorrow at the river!

princess 11 years, 7 months ago

Wow. I am absolutely appalled by this article. What was the purpose of even publishing this? To show us all that Mr. Woodling is a gigantic horses ass? If that was the goal, it was achieved with gusto.

I think Mr. Woodling should have to carry the women's boats for them every day for one year to make up for this.

RockChalkErin 11 years, 7 months ago

In reading this article, I am hoping that Mr. Woodling's point is that KU Athletics should be paying to build a boathouse ... rather than having the students add it in to their fees.
I see a boathouse just as important as having a locker room or an equipment room to store your Basketball and Football Equipment. Essentially, KU Rowing doesn't truly have a place to call home. How can we ask our athletes to continue to be successful without the proper facilities?

Ted Toulouse 11 years, 7 months ago

Well,I'm sick of hearing about Title IX, because I don't think any varsity sport should have to be cancelled in order to fill a quota for another. And look at what Title IX did for the volleyball team 15 years ago. They hired Karen Schonewise (over current coach Ray Bechard!!) because they had to have an equal number of women's and men's coaches. The volleyball team fell further off the map and was a complete disaster when Ray got there. All because of Title IX. Now you tell me which was the right decision? Back to this article, I don't have a problem with improving facilities. every sport deserves it and needs it. I say take it out of the 6-figure admin salaries and leave the students alone.

jayhawkox 11 years, 7 months ago

I think Mr. Woodling's point is not that women's sports shouldn't get money or whatever, but rather, that perhaps the administrators who make 155,000 bucks a year should try taking some change out of that amount rather than to have the students who have already funded the building of an entire rec center fund another building which, while extremely necessary to the future of the program, seems like it could easily be built with funds from the athletic department itself. It's not Woodling or KU students' fault that the Athletic department has ignored women's sports for so long, so just be happy Perkins is doing something about it, instead of being mad at Mr. Woodling for thinking that the university's athletic department should fund its own athletics.

Risa Kearn 11 years, 7 months ago

So Perkins is doing something about it? Funny, if he's fixing this whole inequality thing, why are the students being asked to fund it? I agree that the athletic department is at fault for not building the boathouse years ago (like they have been saying they would). But that does not excuse Mr. Woodling's disparaging comments about women's athletics. I am equally disgusted at the athletic department for making rowing feel like a second class sport and Mr. Woodling for being so ignorant and sexist.

tsweat 11 years, 7 months ago

1st off i think that the school should pay for the rowing facilities themsleves. Having said that i agree with Woodling and think girls rowing IS a 2nd class sport.

ChristinaMarie 11 years, 7 months ago

Mr. Woodling obviously was just skimming the campus newspaper the other day, and has done no investigating at all before writing this public column addressing women's and non-revenue sports.

The main reason I am compelled to write this response however, is the statement "still there is no question women's athletics are a drain on athletic departments everywhere." This statement is wrong on many levels...

We are living in a PROGRESSIVE era. Not many years ago women were prohibited from college altogether. In 1996 the $20 fee was set for women's AND non-revenue sports. However, that is ten years ago. Mr. Woodling, would you not agree that prices have gone up in the past ten years? Just as prices have gone up in general, it is just about time the budget to start accommodating all of these increases.

Another reason this statement is wrong is because college should not be about what sport is making money. A sport is that: a sport. Not a job and definitely not a source of income. If a sport were classified only as a source of income then we would only have men's basketball.

Sports (even those with no revenue) build character, morality, and keep children off the street. They are also the reason many foreign students are even students at all.

Thank you to KU for growing with the times. Do not let those who are less knowledgeable sway your opinions.

ROCKCHALK!!

John Henley 11 years, 7 months ago

Grow up and try to stop being the pamblum puking liberals every other reasonable person caricatures Lawrence residents to be. I love women's athletics but if you don't think they drain the sports budget then you only need to go to a women's game and realize that those refs have to be paid, the lights have to be on, the concession stands have to be opened and staffed and guess what, Allen is more than half empty.
You want respect and treated as equal, then do something on a national level. BTW name one KU female athletic team to win a national championship....

JJHawq 11 years, 7 months ago

Woodling did a poor job of expressing his view here....

....that being said, if I were a student, I'd be po'd that they were trying to charge me $20 bucks to build the boathouse when they seem to have no problem raising millions and millions to build other facilities for the revenue sports. I see the students as those with the least means to support athletic programs.... ....shouldn't they go to those with the most means for these types things.

I have no problem with women's sports or the drain they have on athletic budgets.... ...just don't go to the students for funding that drain.

LiberalKU 11 years, 7 months ago

Whoa! I think people are missing the point here! Woodling did an excellent job in summarizing his article. I'm not sure if those that he po'd read the entire article. The athletic department's administrators are draining the KU sports not the women's atheletes. I agree with Mr. Woodling that instead of the student's paying for the boathouse, the administrators should each give a portion of their six figure income. Also, they should give another portion to allow the men's tennis and swim team back into play. I agree women should be able to participate in all college sports, but I don't agree with giving men's teams the axe just because of a federal guideline or due to the administrators' increasing pay wages. I don't think Mr. Woodling's comments are sexist especially if it is based on facts that indeed women's sports are not lucrative. Since it is not lucrative, they should cut some of the administrators off to help fund the boathouse and reinstate the axe'd men's sports. More students deserved the opportunity to be part of a team.

aew20 11 years, 7 months ago

This to to tsweat... you obviously know nothing about rowing or how hard those ladies work! If it were a second class sport, why were there 250 people at their Senior Day race against KState today? There is more to KU athletics than Men's Basketball...

WrightOn30 11 years, 7 months ago

You guys all need to chill out- Woodling was just pointing out something that is an issue. As much as you don't like it, you have to accept the fact that at KU and other big D1 schools, football and (duh) basketball are the main sources of income for the athletic department, not to mention the most popular. This said, you have to understand that it is warrented that most of the funds go here, and I am sure most of the student body pays more attention to these sports than woman's rowing. And on the same note, KU rocked men's tennis and swimming because they couldn't afford it, so the pendulum swings both ways. Don't take the article personally. I am sure Woodling isn't a woman hater or anything of that sort. Just a reporter.

Adam 11 years, 7 months ago

I see Chuck's point. I spent money every semester paying for an athletic center that I never got to use, because I graduated before it was completed. I disagree with a mandatory fee to fund a project that benefits a select minority of the student body. That being said, I had a fried who was on the women's crew team and was very dedicated to the sport, to say that they don't deserve adequate facilities is wrong. Like any other corporation, some endeavors that KU undertakes will be profitable and others will not. It would be very boring if all we had was football and men's bball. I think the best solution is to get people down to the river and attract attention to the sport. I would go if I knew when the races were being held.

zepa999 11 years, 7 months ago

"Kansas University's athletic department is a multi-million dollar business. It is so corporate-oriented that it has 10 executives - or administrators, as they call them - who earn six-figure salaries. Six of those 10, in fact, earn more than $155,000 a year."

Am I the only one who thinks $155,000 is excessive? I know physicians who don't make that much. These must be multi-tasking executives who have to be able to solve complex calculus problems and write a peace agreement between Jews and Moslems... not to mention the Irish Republican Army and Great Britain.

I am all for building a boat house. We spend millions for mens sports so lets show we are sensitive to the needs for the fairer sex. We are in the process of building a multi-million dollar facility for the football team. Yes, they bring in lots of money. I don't know about you, but I would rather watch the rowing team.

MarkyDSaad 11 years, 7 months ago

I was a little disheartened by the comments that sports are a part of the student life at school. I believe that you will find that there are far fewer athletes at KU than non-athlete students. The primary concern for the university is to grant an education, but there are still departments that need better equipment, facilities, and even teachers. Keep a little focus. The students that have chosen to also be athletes are people who strive to do more, but it does not mean that they are any better than the students who do not. There is such a stigma around Title IX that it tends to push out the average student to say that the debate should be limited to student athletes. I would think that there has been more Alumni revenue over the years from the average student than the average student athlete. How about if the rowing team, who are a great group of people, at least those in the past that I have known, look for ways to get the community more involved and find creative ways to work with the student body to generate the neccessary funds to support their sport. It is time for all involved to think outside the box and get away from feeling that they are owed something and learn that college is about earning something to better ourselves!

fletch 11 years, 7 months ago

Should we build a boathouse? Sure. Should students have to pay for it with their student fee? No. Should athletics stop spending money on jayhawj shaped cheese and personal dvd players for basketball players? Probably.

born1980 11 years, 7 months ago

Maybe sports shouldn't be about making money, but they have been forced to focus on the bottom line. Since we are living in such a progressive time and women are a huge economic force, lets put everyone on the same level. The fact is that a lot of the same women complaning about how unfair this is are also the ones that never spend the time and money to attend in the first place.

David Robinett 11 years, 7 months ago

Can someone tell me why students should pay even the first $20, let alone the additional $20 to fund a sport they don't participate in and which virtually no one attends? Other students & their parent bear a financial burden to attend college at all. They should not have to subsidize someone else's scholarship.

This has nothing to do with the merit of women's sports or how hard the athletes work.

KU is imposing the fee because it can get away with it. I agree that the athletic department should either fund it within its current budget or just not fund things it cannot afford, like a boathouse.

malkerz 11 years, 7 months ago

I would be most worred about the KU English department after reading the responses to the article. The article obviously is advocating building a boathouse, however doing it with the millions of dollars the athletic department already has. Pointing out the FACT that women's sports all LOSE money is not sexist. Labeling someone as a sexist for pointing out mere fact is small minded. The point of the article is that there should be a boathouse built, but not by raising the student athletic fees.

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