AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) - A new report reveals that public universities are spending more than six figures on their athletes.
The Associated Press report compared what public colleges and universities spend on athletes to what they spend on academics.
The results have re-ignited debates among college sports fans. The report found that Division I college athletic programs, particularly those in top conferences, are spending up to $164,000 per athlete. That is six to 12 times more than what they spend per student on academics.
The over-the-top spending brings up the issue of public funding; which has declined across the country, including in Massachusetts. Some say the practice is not fair.
"It's not fair to the students, it's really not fair to the community either. It's just a lot of money going out that could be used better," David Letourneau of Northampton said.
Still, some say they understand why this happens.
"There are things about morale, too, which are a little less tangible, but if a team has a top 10 or a top 15 team, not only are they going to get more revenue from television and alumni, but the students get excited and they go to the games," David Powers of Pelham said.
The biggest gaps were found among schools in the Southeastern Conference (SEC); home to teams like the University of Tennessee and Mississippi State.