I heartily agree with Thomas Harrison Morse’s recent letter to the editor, “End UA Sports” (ADN, April 29). He states “Funding college sports while gutting education during this economic collapse is horrible.” In every society there is a difference between “wants” and “needs.” Higher education is a “need” if we want citizens with advanced levels of education in the many sectors of knowledge needed in today’s world.
Sports are simply games, allowing individuals to move their bodies in certain ways. It’s great for those few individuals. It’s fun. But playing sports doesn’t design buildings, make scientific discoveries or create technological or written marvels.
We were in a time of extreme financial stress before COVID-19 hit, and now the university’s financial situation is even worse. How much is being budgeted for the sports program this year? Who is paying for it? Answer: the students who pay full rates for all classes, books and fees. These have increased steadily for almost two decades, to the point it’s cheaper to go down to the Lower 48 for college. Many of our children are doing that. Many of Alaska’s next generation will never return, leaving the elderly to fend for themselves.
How much was spent last year on sports this past year? Why are we spending money on games, when we should go back to the basics and see that the university is for education, not for sports? As Thomas Harrison Morse said: “To the UA governance: Do your job and completely cut sports before cutting academics.”
— Denise K. Yancey
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