Two views: Fan fallout from South Dakota loss

By
  • Nick Magrino and Willard B. Shapira
September 14, 2010

Sixteen thousand dollars a year. Sixteen thousand. That’s how much I’m paying in tuition and fees, every year, to go to the University of Minnesota.
I love the University. It’s fun. We try really, really hard — in spite of everything this school throws at us — to have fun.
Last week, my friends and I left work early to go wait in line for season tickets that we’re all paying for in addition to our stadium fee. We were toward the front of the line. We waited over an hour.
At the Saturday game, one of my friends (who has had season tickets for four years) was rudely turned away at the gate to go to customer service because his ticket wouldn’t scan. I then waited in a concession line for 10 minutes to find out the power went out, so I had to go to another line, where I waited another 45 minutes to get some cheese curds.
Then we all had the treat of watching a 150-year-old athletic program get trounced by what’s effectively a Division II football team from a state with an eighth of the population of Minnesota.
You’re losing people left and right with this stuff. It’s ridiculous. Please, please give us a reason to be happy here. We’re paying a lot for it.
Beyond the drunken “fire Brewster” chants we were all yelling from the student section, there are serious issues behind the entire way this organization is set up. Maybe Bobby Bruininks can work on it at the “Center for Integrative Leadership,” or whatever the hell that is. Get it together.
Nick Magrino, Undergraduate student

 

The Star Tribune columnist Sid Hartman reported Sept. 13 that the University of Minnesota is last in Big Ten football spending at $9.25 million. The tax-paying public deserve to know as soon as possible how much of that is taxpayer money.
In my view, any taxpayer money spent on intercollegiate sports is a total waste because it has nothing to do with education. The humiliating loss to South Dakota should serve as a wake-up call to Minnesota taxpayers, the next governor and our legislators that throwing money at the football program is not unlike spending on the hopeless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: How much will “victory” cost and how will we know when we have won? A major bowl game victory?
OK, so then what? How does that help unemployment, health care, the environment and our other pressing social problems?
It’s time to either drop intercollegiate sports entirely or scale them back drastically. I could live with a compromise: spending football and other varsity sports money to upgrade the intramural program which potentially can serve all students, faculty and maybe even alumni.
Hooray for President Bruininks and the Board of Regents: We are last in Big Ten football spending! May it ever be thus if it has to be at all.
Willard B. Shapira, Daily reader

 

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