Earlier this week we had an editorial about the USC athletics department’s recent "contribution" of $15 million to the university. An excerpt:
a gift, and shouldn’t
be seen as such
PERHAPS YOU shouldn’t look a gift chicken in the beak, but there was something more than a little off-putting about all the self-congratulation and awe that accompanied the USC athletics department’s recent “contribution” of $15 million to the university to help pay for … academics.
This clearly is a large amount of money that has the potential to do a great deal of good at a school that is struggling under state budget cuts and the larger economic crisis. Just as clearly, such a gift is extraordinary and such a gesture, in the words of one USC trustee, “historic and symbolic.”
But there shouldn’t be anything extraordinary — certainly not “historic” — about university money being used to further the core mission of the university. In fact, it should be expected — the sort of thing that deserves commentary only in its absence. As difficult a concept as this seems to be, money generated by the athletics department, or any other part of a university, belongs to the university….
Any thoughts on that?
I bring it up because when we ran the piece, I had expected to hear a good bit of reaction both pro and con, and things have been fairly quiet. So I thought I'd bring it up here, to see what y'all thought about it.