Where can the University of Illinois find the money to stave off a tuition increase in the face of a proposed 30 percent cut in state support?
It turns out the U. of I. has millions coming into its athletic department from the Big Ten conference, from broadcast rights, bowl games and the Big Ten Network, and journalism and media professor Jay Rosenstein says the athletic department ought to share that money with the rest of the campus, the way professors have to share 50-50 when they get research grants.
“When the athletic department brings in $5 million for something, they keep it all. If I bring in $5 million as a researcher, I have to give half of it back to the campus,” he said.
By his estimation, the revenue the University of Illinois gets from the Big Ten Conference has grown over the last decade from $4 million a year to $28 million, boosted in part by the creation of a college football playoff and the Big 10 being considered a “power conference.” He says that $24 million increase could be used to hold down tuition without really “cutting” the athletic department.
He has presented this idea to the Board of Trustees but says it’ll take a grass roots effort.