Guest columnist Amanda Moore: A case for coaching salaries at UMass

Published: 04/12/2022 13:13:47 Modified: 04/12/2022 13:12:37 As a former and current employee of the University of Massachusetts, I...

Published: 04/12/2022 13:13:47

Modified: 04/12/2022 13:12:37

As a former and current employee of the University of Massachusetts, I feel the need to respond to recent letters to the editor regarding college athletics.

I would like to offer an alternative perspective to two recent letters. I would first like to clarify that the budget lines for athletics are separate from that of the operating budget of the university. It is absurd to think that “taxpayer” money would be enough to fully fund the million dollar salaries for coaches.

Next, I would like to offer several rebuttal points regarding the losing record for football since the program switched to FCS. The football program is one of the few revenue-generating sports at the university. This team, with its losing record, is responsible for funding scholarships, facility upgrades, and nearly all other expenses for all sports on campus.

Non-revenue-generating sports, and especially women’s sports, have benefited greatly from the funding that football has been able to generate. Credit for that goes to the current administration, especially athletic director Ryan Bamford, who is a champion of all student-athletes, but especially women’s athletics.

Another very important point of rebuttal is that the primary goal of most college athletes is to earn a degree and contribute to society. They understand that very few achieve elite athlete status by playing professionally. The football program has the most scholarship athletes on campus, graduating more student athletes per year and providing societal benefits beyond just Saturday afternoon entertainment.

What a great time to only support athletics, especially college athletics made up of amateurs between the ages of 18 and 22, only when they’re winning at a high level like in the days of John Calapari and Marcus Camby or Mark Whipple and the 1998 football team.

I’ve cheered on the Red Sox all my life without winning a World Series until 2004. You would never have seen me waiver of support based solely on their record and I would have cheered happily if they had spent gobs of money acquiring a more talented coaching staff in hopes of improving the organization.

Which brings me to my final point is that the recent level of criticism regarding coaching salaries and the level of athletic talent recruited to play at UMass contradict each other at best. The better the coaches, the higher the salary requirements. Rookies will follow, as evidenced by the most recent football recruiting class being the highest rated in school history.

Let’s not be blinded by the losing record or freakish phenomena in sport where criticizing young people and those just over 18 is acceptable. The student-athletes who choose to attend UMass do so with pride and have worked very hard to earn their place on the teams. I am of the opinion that adults should not feel comfortable assigning them labels of lacking “respect for life and bodily integrity” or less than “high standard”. It is a huge accomplishment to play Division 1 varsity athletics. I commend the students and the administration that supports them.

Amanda Moore lives in Northampton, works at UMass and is an alumna.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Guest columnist Amanda Moore: A case for coaching salaries at UMass
Guest columnist Amanda Moore: A case for coaching salaries at UMass
Newsrust - US Top News
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