In Sunday’s News and Observer, an article ran that provides clear-cut reasoning why Lee Fowler should be fired.
Only the author had no such intention when he wrote it.
It’s this piece, entitled Big Sports Wins Mean Big Money For Campuses, in which the author Eric Ferreri lays out–in dollars and cents, Lee’s favorite language–the impact winning championships has on the bottom lines of BOTH the athletic departments AND the overall student body of a major university.
As Lee has stated publicly in the past, on the airwaves of local sports-talk radio, in his mind it’s unrealistic for State to compare themselves with the Dukes and Carolinas of the world.
Well, if I’m connecting the dots, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with winners of the last two national titles is unrealistic. Therefore, Lee considers WINNING NATIONAL TITLES AT N.C. STATE UNREALISTIC. And given that,
State can expect to never rake in the hundreds of thousands of extra dollars PER YEAR
that a school receives in royalties from championship merchandise.
And who suffers as a result? Well, at Carolina, the merchandise sales contribute to a fund that directly pays out financial aid to its student body. Not athletes, or to a fund used for improving facilities. Per UNC’s estimates, the royalties from their title in 2009 were sufficient to provide financial aid to 90 more UNC students this year. So, if Carolina’s merchandise numbers were to suddenly drop off, the overall student body would suffer as a result.
Now, I have no idea how State chooses to use their merchandising royalties. I imagine–given our lack of overall success, championships, and poor marketing efforts–the royalty check each year is limited compared to most major schools. But UNC is to be applauded for how they use theirs, and it shows that athletic success can DIRECTLY impact the financial well-being of the overall student body.
Bottom line, Lee Fowler needs to go. This quote from the article says it all: “Championships matter,” said Shirley Ort, director of scholarships and student aid. “They do account for much more money.” By deemphasizing the importance of winning championships on the national level, Fowler costs State money in lost potential royalties.
Year after year, after year, after year, after…