Viral Photo of a University’s Classroom vs. Its Football Locker Room Sparks Debate
College sports are big business. $4 Billion in revenue is generated annually from the 65 separate universities that make up "the power 5" according to Fortune, so it's understandable why schools would invest a lot of money in ensuring that their teams have everything they need to stay competitive on the field.
It's why college football coaches and staff typically pull in way fatter salaries than professors. The average yearly income for a tenured professor at a University is anywhere from $120,000-$145,000, while some coaches can make $2 million a year and receive bonuses that net them way more money than that.
Then there's the fact that the NCAA is basically a testing ground for pro-level talent. For example, Joe Burrow was hot stuff down at LSU and everyone knew it. He ends up playing for the Cincinnati Bengals and now he's leading the team to a Super Bowl.
And while it's understood why there's so much money in College Football, and players are even getting paid while they're in school, there are many folks who think that the focus of schools should be, you know, education.
But a photo that's going viral on Reddit shows that some universities don't really espouse that train of thought.
The image depicts a side-by-side comparison of a university classroom at LA Tech vs its Football Team's locker room and it shows a stark difference between their treatment. In fact, Sports Illustrated even highlighted the "wow" factor of the updated football team's locker room.
The instructional room sports a caved-in drop ceiling, desks that look like they were lifted straight off of the Matilda set, and several trash bins positioned to presumably catch water falling from above.
The LA Tech locker room features a massive decorative piece sporting the school's logo on its ceiling, state-of-the-art lighting and fixtures, along with well-lit posters (or are they monitors?) with pictures and names of the school's players in the room.
It's a stunning assortment of carpentry that looks like something straight out of a billion-dollar NFL franchise, but the same can't be said of the sad-looking classroom where students are forced to sit in and learn about comparative literature or macroeconomics.
A lot of commenters made wry jokes about the inequity: "at least the football players can learn some geography by looking at the ceiling.
if they are in class, they will learn that Louisiana is very damp.
if they are in the locker room, they will learn that Louisiana has been crushed by a giant T," Redditor @max said.
@Desertbro said, "Locker room = air-conditioned.
Classroom = open a window and pray you don't stick to the chair or the mosquitos aren't hunting."
For folks who said they toured the campus, the distinction was between the condition of classrooms and the gym/locker rooms was very apparent.
"I took a tour of the school in the picture.
Same. Exact. Thing.
Look at our rock wall! But don’t pay too much attention to the old ass dorms. Those aren’t really important anyway… Sports!"
What do you think? Is it a problem that universities are prioritizing sports over education? Or is that just a consequence of whatever's bringing in money at the end of the day?