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OPINION: App State is more than just football

OPINION%3A+App+State+is+more+than+just+football

After a substantial donation to the athletics program from Tommy Sofield, a former App State football player from the class of 1976, attention has once again been turned towards the funding and focus the university  places on athletics. The donation is going towards a new indoor football practice facility, replacing the one built in 2007 already bearing Sofield’s name. But why is it that athletics, especially football, are always the most recognized and funded part of App State? Focusing more on other qualities of the school would more widely and positively affect students. 

App State has many qualities besides the athletics program that deserve recognition. Yes, it is great that App State is a D1 school. Not to say football does not matter, but what about other aspects of the university? After all, it is not a secret that students are widely displeased with the monetary attention focused towards athletics. 

It is past time that the university is recognized more so for what it is: a university, rather than a “football school.” App State offers a wide variety of majors, with popular programs including sustainable development, business, nursing, psychology and many others. The university also continues to be known for the Reich College of Education, which is what the university was established for in 1899. App State continues to produce a large number of teachers on a yearly basis. Our sustainable development program was one of the first to develop a full program  in the ‘90s and continues to be one of the departments our school is known for. The nursing program is also incredibly competitive and offers a wide range of opportunities for students. 

Speaking outside of majors, App State is the most biodiverse campus in the state, seen after our third consecutive year winning the NC Campus BioBlitz competition, followed by UNC-Wilmington and UNC-Greensboro. We ended up recording 1,043 different species on campus this year. No matter how you feel about App State, you have to admit that we have an incredibly gorgeous campus with views that you can hardly find anywhere else. 

App State is so much more than the athletics programs, and so many students want this to be known. Despite the funding athletics receives, we are nothing without our education. After all, even our athletes are students first. 

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About the Contributor
Madison Nance, Opinion Writer
Madison Nance (she/her) is a sophomore English major. This is her second year with The Appalachian
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Comments (6)

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  • M

    MuChaoDec 16, 2023 at 7:12 am

    Yeah, a lot of folks don’t want to hear this. They’d rather enjoy their subsidized entertainment off the backs of students. They either don’t know, or don’t care, that Athletics loses over $20 million every single year, their entertainment program is one of the most heavily socialized programs on campus, 100% reliant on handouts, yet contributes absolutely *nothing* to the core mission of the university: education.

    Reply
  • P

    PaytonDec 11, 2023 at 10:36 am

    I am happy to know Mr. Sofield continues to support his school through his generous donations to athletic program. Please research and share the amount of money that have been donated by other non-athlete ASU alums, and what programs they benefit. I’m quite certain it would not be fair to take that money to benefit the athletic program. Thank you Mr. Sofield and go Mountaineers!

    Reply
    • M

      MuChaoDec 16, 2023 at 7:04 am

      That’s nice and all, but maybe since Sofield is so generous the Athletics program can give refunds to students who are forced to pay over $1000/year to subsidize the debt and annual financial losses incurred by Athletics? A program that is incapable of generating enough revenue to break-even and requires ~$20 million in subsidies every single year just to stay afloat?

      Reply
  • M

    Mike HuntDec 8, 2023 at 6:08 pm

    Have you looked into the revenue that football generates for the school and the town in order to help stimulate growth in all areas? You might want to

    Reply
    • C

      Cindy WDec 9, 2023 at 9:53 am

      Has anyone got a breakdown on this, Mike? Sure would be interestimg.
      Thanks.

      Reply
    • M

      MuChaoDec 16, 2023 at 7:01 am

      Football generates *zero* revenue for the school. The Athletics program is in debt ~$20 million every single year. The only reason that the Athletics program breaks-even financially is due to the fact that it is so heavily subsidized by student fees. Every full time student is *forced* to pay over $1000/year to subsidize both the pre-existing debt and the yearly financial losses incurred by Athletics. Go look at the receipts, it’s all publicly available information.

      This myth that football/athletics generates revenue for the school is exactly that: a myth. Does the town see some financial benefits? Yes, and those numbers are publicly available via a recent study. But that does not change the fact that for the school, it can’t even pay for itself, and relies on forced subsidies off the backs of students to keep from drowning.

      Students who are already going into debt to be here are going to be paying down interest on over $4000 in loans that was used not for their education, but so that the general public can have subsidized (socialized!) entertainment.

      Reply