The economics of college football
Reading all the coverage
about the sad demise
of Northeastern University’s football program, I’m reminded of the documentary ‘Eight’
that recently replayed on NESN.
They were arguing in the early 1950s about the value and costs of football programs – and those cost concerns are the main reason why the Ivy League
was established in 1954 and why the New England Small College Athletic Conference
was started a year later. It turns out the smaller regional colleges made the smart economic moves decades ago.
Northeastern and Boston University’s problems, as Derrick notes
, were tied to their programs floating in football limbo between the Division 1 powerhouses and those underneath them that rejected Division 1 requirements. Northeastern and BU couldn’t go up without huge expenditures. They couldn’t go down because they were/are too big and not welcomed in other leagues. The NCAA deserves some, if not most, of the blame for not recognizing and reacting to the economic strains on many football programs outside the quasi-professional “Championship Bowl’’ teams. But don’t get me going on the NCAA. …