Small crowds, big subsidy for UB sports

But amid surging college costs and student-debt levels, some students and faculty members have started questioning the university’s emphasis on Division I sports. The increased spending on athletics has happened as university officials curbed some academic spending. The university’s largest academic unit, the College of Arts & Sciences, currently has a hiring freeze, because administrators said they don’t have the money to add faculty. The college has experienced enrollment declines, and its budget this year is down by $3.5 million from 2014-15.

“Part of the reason the money isn’t there is the university has chosen other priorities in the way it spends its money,” said Kenneth Dauber, a professor of English, who has been critical of athletics spending. “It seems a really backwards sense of priority. What justifies that, given what the mission of the university is?”

With the $23 million subsidy to athletics, the university easily could hire 225 more faculty members or cut tuition by more than $1,000 for all undergraduates, he said.

Great piece of data-driven journalism from Jay Skurski and The Buffalo News.