The Louisiana Business Report published an article about an agreement by the Louisiana State University Board of Supervisors that will send at least $36 million of athletics department revenue to academic endeavors over the next five years.
The report included comments by Knight Commission Executive Director Amy Perko, who said “the deal appears to be among the first of its kind in college sports—at least in its structure—but notes the LSU Athletics Department is also among fewer than two dozen collegiate sports programs in the country that is in any position to facilitate such a deal.”
The article stated: “Knight Commission research shows spending on athletics programs at the country’s colleges and universities is increasing at a pace twice that of spending on academics, Perko said. In the football-crazed SEC, the figure is even more startling.
‘In the SEC, university spending per student-athlete is 12 times what is spent on each student that is there solely for academics,’ Perko said.
With those figures in mind, Perko said she doesn’t think the new LSU agreement should be viewed as a bailout of academics by the athletics department.
‘I don’t see it as a bail out,” Perko said. “I see arrangements like this as a signal that the athletics department is working to be a fully integral part of the university’s broader institutional mission—and that the athletics department really sees itself as a part of the university, instead of apart from it.'”