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Sunday, March 17, 2013

SF Gate: Baseball struggles to reach black America

But the push to bring baseball to all corners of the globe comes as one of the sport’s key demographics continues to vanish right here at home.

For the first time in memory, the Giants, reigning champions, have no African American players in camp this spring. It’s a stunning development on a team whose history is molded by Willie Mays and Willie McCovey, Frank Robinson and Dusty Baker [...]

MLB’s Urban Youth Academy is designed to support those who want to go further in the sport, providing year-round instruction and educational programs for young baseball and softball players.

There are seven academies in place and plans to expand throughout the league. The longest-running program is in Compton (Los Angeles County), and according to Darrell Miller, MLB’s vice president of youth and facility development, the academies have served more than 10,000 kids in seven years and more than 100 of those have been drafted.

“Most kids who are playing at a higher level are in travel ball, paying to play and paying for instruction,” Miller said. “But a lot of kids can’t afford that kind of support. We try to give kids more opportunity.”

The forces at work against minority players are numerous, from the high cost of travel ball programs - the primary platforms where young players can be noticed - to the lack of college scholarships.

Under NCAA rules, Division I baseball programs are allowed 11.7 scholarships to divide among a roster of about 35 players. In contrast, football offers 85 full scholarships for a roster of 70 and basketball offers 13 full scholarships for a roster of 15.

While football and basketball players are guaranteed full rides, a player opting for baseball will still be stuck with most of an enormous tuition bill or have to enter the general financial aid pool.

bobm Posted: March 17, 2013 at 09:10 PM | 81 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. flournoy Posted: March 17, 2013 at 10:44 PM (#4390212)
It’s a stunning development on a team whose history is molded by Willie Mays and Willie McCovey, Frank Robinson and Dusty Baker


It seems like there could be a name missing from this list, but I can't figure out who it could possibly be. Certainly nobody as important to Giants history as Frank Robinson, I'm sure.
   2. TerpNats Posted: March 17, 2013 at 10:48 PM (#4390213)
He's now a nonperson in the Great Giants Encyclopedia.
   3. JJ1986 Posted: March 17, 2013 at 10:50 PM (#4390214)
It seems like there could be a name missing from this list, but I can't figure out who it could possibly be.


Darren Lewis?
   4. John Northey Posted: March 17, 2013 at 10:51 PM (#4390216)
Kind of bizarre that they offer more scholarships than positions on the team for football and basketball. Seems very odd.
   5. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 17, 2013 at 10:52 PM (#4390219)
It seems like there could be a name missing from this list, but I can't figure out who it could possibly be. Certainly nobody as important to Giants history as Frank Robinson, I'm sure.


Fred Lewis?
   6. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: March 17, 2013 at 10:54 PM (#4390220)
Hank Thompson
   7. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 17, 2013 at 11:01 PM (#4390222)
Bobby Bonds.
   8. asinwreck Posted: March 17, 2013 at 11:02 PM (#4390223)
Kevin Mitchell.
   9. The importance of being Ernest Riles Posted: March 17, 2013 at 11:02 PM (#4390224)
Darren Lewis?

Darren Baker.
   10. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: March 17, 2013 at 11:14 PM (#4390234)
Under NCAA rules, Division I baseball programs are allowed 11.7 scholarships to divide among a roster of about 35 players. In contrast, football offers 85 full scholarships for a roster of 70 and basketball offers 13 full scholarships for a roster of 15.


Those pesky football and basketball programmes and their tens of thousands of tickets, beer and souvenirs that they sell each week....
   11. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: March 17, 2013 at 11:17 PM (#4390235)
Shawon Duntston.

Tom Goodwin.

Reggie Sanders.

Just from 2002 there are so many important African-Americans from the Giants - how could they overlook these men of valor.

Shoot, Russ Ortiz is half black.

OK. Maybe not.
   12. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 17, 2013 at 11:22 PM (#4390245)
Ernest Riles.
   13. Tripon Posted: March 17, 2013 at 11:50 PM (#4390257)

Under NCAA rules, Division I baseball programs are allowed 11.7 scholarships to divide among a roster of about 35 players. In contrast, football offers 85 full scholarships for a roster of 70 and basketball offers 13 full scholarships for a roster of 15.


Those pesky football and basketball programmes and their tens of thousands of tickets, beer and souvenirs that they sell each week....


If your goal is to educate as many students as possible, putting an scholarship limit is contradicting that goal in the most asinine way possible.
   14. Bhaakon Posted: March 18, 2013 at 12:15 AM (#4390273)
If your goal is to educate as many students as possible, putting an scholarship limit is contradicting that goal in the most asinine way possible.


If universities wanted to educate as many students as possible, they wouldn't have admittance quotas.
   15. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: March 18, 2013 at 12:19 AM (#4390278)
#13, I'm not sure what you are saying? The article and post #4 seemed to think it odd that football and basketball receive so many scholarships. My failed attempt at humour was to merely point out that those two programmes generate enormous amounts of revenue for their respective schools, thus allowing them to finance pretty every other scholarship given to other sports programmes and thus educating as many students as possible.
   16. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: March 18, 2013 at 12:52 AM (#4390326)
I'm not sure what you are saying? The article and post #4 seemed to think it odd that football and basketball receive so many scholarships. My failed attempt at humour was to merely point out that those two programmes generate enormous amounts of revenue for their respective schools, thus allowing them to finance pretty every other scholarship given to other sports programmes and thus educating as many students as possible.


This.

I teach at a small school (9,000 students) and we have D-1 baseball and basketball, but no football team and it seems they are struggling to keep the doors open on the whole athletic program as they try to grow from what was a formidable D-2 program into a ####-tastic D-1 program. Without the cash cow of football it seems they are struggling. Also, as tuitions rise all over, the cost of those scholarships go WAY up. Here in the CSU (California) those scholarship costs have doubled in the last 6-8 years.

I wish college athletics just went away, but that ain't happening.
   17. The importance of being Ernest Riles Posted: March 18, 2013 at 01:06 AM (#4390330)
Ernest Riles.


Why didn't I think of that?!?
   18. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: March 18, 2013 at 01:13 AM (#4390332)
#16, Thanks for clarifying. Obviously the big schools have no such issues with such large football and basketball programmes.

Also, as tuitions rise all over


You can't really blame this on football and basketball programmes and scholarships. The mismanagement of the state of California finances and subsequent cutting of funds to unis in California is a tragedy of epic proportions. The one area governments should always be justified in collecting taxes is for spending on education, at any level.
   19. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: March 18, 2013 at 01:20 AM (#4390333)
The mismanagement of the state of California finances and subsequent cutting of funds to unis in California is a tragedy of epic proportions. The one area governments should always be justified in collecting taxes is for spending on education, at any level.

If you added 50% to the education budget tomorrow, it wouldn't move the needle on actual education one bit. The only result would be teachers and administrators driving better cars, taking better vacations and working in nicer offices. In it's current configuration, education is a black hole, you can shovel money in it all day long and never get any additional societal benefit.
   20. Random Transaction Generator Posted: March 18, 2013 at 01:26 AM (#4390334)
It seems like there could be a name missing from this list, but I can't figure out who it could possibly be. Certainly nobody as important to Giants history as Frank Robinson, I'm sure.


Jon Dowd?
Joe Young?
   21. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: March 18, 2013 at 02:08 AM (#4390339)
You can't really blame this on football and basketball programmes and scholarships.


I totally agree. I was just saying that the price of those scholarships is real. And they rise with the rise in tuition/fees. So, an athletic program has to raise that much more money to pay for those scholarships, etc. I'm just saying that their job got much harder in the last 8 years. That's all.

If you added 50% to the education budget tomorrow, it wouldn't move the needle on actual education one bit. The only result would be teachers and administrators driving better cars, taking better vacations and working in nicer offices.


Spoken like someone who hasn't quite got a grip on what goes on in a classroom. I'll grant you the administrator bit. But teachers are rarely the beneficiary of the big salaries. For every professor making $100,000 where I work there are 10 administrators and that's on a campus of 9,000. It is totally unjustified, but it isn't the teachers - for the most part.

Assessment culture has created many problems throughout the nation from k-12 and higher education. Teaching to the test. Running science and history out of the k-6 classroom. Focusing - to a fault - on english and math. Ignoring the concepts of critical thinking and problem solving and the list goes on and on. But the worst thing I am seeing as we approach 15 years with NCLB on the books - is that the constant assessment has created a "need" for middle managers galore to be able to sift through - on a daily basis! - all of this marginally valuable data. We in CA are pissing away millions on folks that provide very little marginal value to an institution. So, Robert, while I see your point and understand that concern - the problem is at the administrative levels of my institution and that of the k-12 folks I know and work with in my region.

In it's current configuration, education is a black hole, you can shovel money in it all day long and never get any additional societal benefit.


I'll agree to disagree here. There is a societal benefit to educating the public. The more students served increase that societal benefit. But, I'll agree that we need more vocational schools, trade schools and the such that prepare folks for careers without the need to rack up $60-$100 K in debt. We are burying students in debt and THAT has a negative societal benefit - I'd argue.
   22. Bhaakon Posted: March 18, 2013 at 05:03 AM (#4390348)
If you added 50% to the education budget tomorrow, it wouldn't move the needle on actual education one bit. The only result would be teachers and administrators driving better cars, taking better vacations and working in nicer offices. In it's current configuration, education is a black hole, you can shovel money in it all day long and never get any additional societal benefit.


I think you're confusing things here. We're talking about how much people pay to go to state universities more than the quality of education. Throwing 50% more money at them will mean that fewer people are priced out of a college education.
   23. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 18, 2013 at 08:56 AM (#4390369)
The forces at work against minority players are numerous, from the high cost of travel ball programs - the primary platforms where young players can be noticed - to the lack of college scholarships.

Under NCAA rules, Division I baseball programs are allowed 11.7 scholarships to divide among a roster of about 35 players. In contrast, football offers 85 full scholarships for a roster of 70 and basketball offers 13 full scholarships for a roster of 15.

While football and basketball players are guaranteed full rides, a player opting for baseball will still be stuck with most of an enormous tuition bill or have to enter the general financial aid pool.


OTOH, baseball is the only sport that allows you to get a paycheck straight out of high school. You'd think that would be more attractive than free tuition for a lot of kids, particularly since so many college football and basketball players will never earn a pro paycheck. And its not like college baseball teams used to offer tons of scholarships and black players were playing college baseball in droves, so that doesn't really explain any kind of decline in numbers for African-Americans in baseball.
   24. BDC Posted: March 18, 2013 at 09:17 AM (#4390380)
Without the cash cow of football it seems they are struggling

And many universities struggle even to fund football. The most recent data on profits (for 2011, released late in 2012) shows the major established programs making huge amounts of money, as one would expect. "But about a third of the teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision broke even or lost money." TCU is notable as the biggest spender not to make any profit on football in 2011, despite a gigantic push to enter the elite ranks.

Of course, football is not all about the bottom line. It's about marketing and branding. TCU dominates one-quarter of the daily newspaper in Ft Worth, mostly due to football (a little bit to basketball, though tenuously, and only if they do well).

I reckon problems are compounded for many schools, especially smaller private colleges, that must maintain football to keep a media presence alive, break even or lose money on football, and are then faced with a number of other unprofitable sports that soak up scholarships, cost lots of overhead to run, and offer just about zero returns in terms of publicity.

Does any school center its "brand" on college baseball? There are popular programs, like the Arizona universities, Texas, USC, but they're not "baseball-first" schools. Cal State Fullerton, maybe; Dallas Baptist in my neck of the woods. It's a marginal speciality.
   25. JJ1986 Posted: March 18, 2013 at 09:22 AM (#4390384)
Does any school center its "brand" on college baseball?


Long Beach State maybe.
   26. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 18, 2013 at 09:27 AM (#4390392)
Wichita State does.
   27. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 18, 2013 at 09:55 AM (#4390405)

If you added 50% to the education budget tomorrow, it wouldn't move the needle on actual education one bit. The only result would be teachers and administrators driving better cars, taking better vacations and working in nicer offices.


If teachers had better cars, nicer offices and better vacations, wouldn't you attract better teachers? At least, that's the justification put forward for paying CEOs seven figures and giving them golden parachutes.
   28. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 18, 2013 at 10:03 AM (#4390409)
If you added 50% to the education budget tomorrow, it wouldn't move the needle on actual education one bit. The only result would be teachers and administrators driving better cars, taking better vacations and working in nicer offices.


You left out eating finer dinners and wearing fancier clothes.

Beyond that, yes, your statement is obvious.
   29. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 18, 2013 at 10:15 AM (#4390418)
If you added 50% to the education budget tomorrow, it wouldn't move the needle on actual education one bit. The only result would be teachers and administrators driving better cars, taking better vacations and working in nicer offices.


I think the first part of this is true, but the second is not. The money is not being spent on salaries, its being spent on lavish capital projects as part of the "keeping up with the Joneses" mentality on college campuses. The money is being spent on yoga centers, coffee bars, and rock-climbing walls as a way to entice high school kids to come to your college because of the lavish free* amenities they can enjoy.

*-hahaha, just kidding, you'll pay for it for decades. Enjoy that latte!
   30. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 18, 2013 at 10:17 AM (#4390419)

If teachers had better cars, nicer offices and better vacations, wouldn't you attract better teachers? At least, that's the justification put forward for paying CEOs seven figures and giving them golden parachutes.


I believe this sort of motivation is only effective with the right sort of people.
   31. The Good Face Posted: March 18, 2013 at 10:40 AM (#4390433)
I think the first part of this is true, but the second is not. The money is not being spent on salaries, its being spent on lavish capital projects as part of the "keeping up with the Joneses" mentality on college campuses. The money is being spent on yoga centers, coffee bars, and rock-climbing walls as a way to entice high school kids to come to your college because of the lavish free* amenities they can enjoy.


The second part is half true; administrative bloat is real and is sucking up a ton of resources. The professors themselves aren't really seeing much of all that money going to the universities. The assistant supervisor working for the Associate VP of the Department of Diversity Compliance is probably making more than most tenure track professors; they're certainly making much, much, more than the adjuncts and graduate students who are actually doing most of the teaching work.

If teachers had better cars, nicer offices and better vacations, wouldn't you attract better teachers? At least, that's the justification put forward for paying CEOs seven figures and giving them golden parachutes.


With respect to higher education, Universities have their pick of Ivy league Ph.D.s who are willing to work for peanuts right now. They're already attracting the highest quality candidates.
   32. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 18, 2013 at 11:14 AM (#4390466)
Obviously not the right sort of people.
   33. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 18, 2013 at 11:50 AM (#4390488)
The second part is half true; administrative bloat is real and is sucking up a ton of resources. The professors themselves aren't really seeing much of all that money going to the universities. The assistant supervisor working for the Associate VP of the Department of Diversity Compliance is probably making more than most tenure track professors; they're certainly making much, much, more than the adjuncts and graduate students who are actually doing most of the teaching work.

This 100 times.
   34. JE (Jason) Posted: March 18, 2013 at 11:55 AM (#4390490)
I blame J.P. Ricciardi.
   35. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 18, 2013 at 12:02 PM (#4390495)
Also, why do we never see articles bemoaning the lack of white Americans playing in the NBA or NFL?

MLB is actually pretty representative of the general population if you look at US born players. The NBA is absurdly imbalanced.
   36. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 18, 2013 at 12:09 PM (#4390498)
Also, why do we never see articles bemoaning the lack of white Americans playing in the NBA or NFL?


Stormfront won't print my articles because I'm Jewish.
   37. SoSH U at work Posted: March 18, 2013 at 12:20 PM (#4390501)
Also, why do we never see articles bemoaning the lack of white Americans playing in the NBA or NFL?


Presumably because there's no sense that whites aren't interested in those sports, as a quick glance at most high school rosters or youth league courts and fields or small college campuses would indicate. The opportunities are certainly there for white players to perform in those sports, and they are taking advantage of those opportunities. That they don't end up reaching the NFL or NBA isn't for lack of effort (or expense, in the case of basketball).

The question with African-Americans and baseball is whether they are rejecting the sport at the initial stage. And if that's the case, a) why is it that way, b) what can be done about it, and c) what should be done about it.

If any sizable subset of the American population is not interested in baseball, that's something that MLB should explore. Not because we need some racial quota to fill at the big league level, which is ridiculous, but because you don't want to just write off a potential audience for your game at home.

I don't give a rat's ass what the percentage of African-Americans, or Caucasian-Americans or Latin-Americans make up the rosters of MLB. I do care if large chunks of young people in this country don't have genuine access to playing baseball. 'Cause that ain't right.
   38. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 18, 2013 at 12:32 PM (#4390514)

Presumably because there's no sense that whites aren't interested in those sports, as a quick glance at most high school rosters or youth league courts and fields or small college campuses would indicate. The opportunities are certainly there for white players to perform in those sports, and they are taking advantage of those opportunities. That they don't end up reaching the NFL or NBA isn't for lack of effort (or expense, in the case of basketball).

The question with African-Americans and baseball is whether they are rejecting the sport at the initial stage. And if that's the case, a) why is it that way, b) what can be done about it, and c) what should be done about it.

If any sizable subset of the American population is not interested in baseball, that's something that MLB should explore. Not because we need some racial quota to fill at the big league level, which is ridiculous, but because you don't want to just write off a potential audience for your game at home.

I don't give a rat's ass what the percentage of African-Americans, or Caucasian-Americans or Latin-Americans make up the rosters of MLB. I do care if large chunks of young people in this country don't have genuine access to playing baseball. 'Cause that ain't right.


Good answer.

But, I don't think the fact that US born blacks make up 8% of MLB players, 11% of US born, is prima facie evidence that opportunity is lacking. That's about the % of blacks in the US pop.

I also wouldn't dismiss so quickly the idea that there are barriers to US whites in the NBA/NFL. It makes no sense that there should be so many European whites in the NBA, and so few US born whites. It is entirely possible that whites are stereotyped with the "slow and can't jump" label.
   39. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 18, 2013 at 12:40 PM (#4390524)

I also wouldn't dismiss so quickly the idea that there are barriers to US whites in the NBA/NFL. It makes no sense that there should be so many European whites in the NBA, and so few US born whites. It is entirely possible that whites are stereotyped with the "slow and can't jump" label.


Well the population of Europe is twice that of the United States, so it does make some sense.
   40. SoSH U at work Posted: March 18, 2013 at 12:41 PM (#4390525)
But, I don't think the fact that US born blacks make up 8% of MLB players, 11% of US born, is prima facie evidence that opportunity is lacking. That's about the % of blacks in the US pop.


I think the fact that opportunites are lacking is evidence that opportunites are lacking (not just for African-Americans, but lower income people). Baseball has become very expensive, even at the entry level.

I also wouldn't dismiss so quickly the idea that there are barriers to US whites in the NBA/NFL. It makes no sense that there should be so many European whites in the NBA, and so few US born whites. It is entirely possible that whites are stereotyped with the "slow and can't jump" label.


There may very well be (in fact, I'm almost certain there is, at least at the individual, though perhaps not the systemic, level). But just as I don't care about the percentage of blacks in MLB, I'm not going to get worked up about the percentage of whites in the NBA or NFL (to be fair, I don't care about the percentage of anything regarding the NBA).
   41. JE (Jason) Posted: March 18, 2013 at 12:43 PM (#4390532)
Does anyone know how US-born Latinos are represented in MLB compared to the overall population?
   42. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 18, 2013 at 12:45 PM (#4390533)
With respect to higher education, Universities have their pick of Ivy league Ph.D.s who are willing to work for peanuts right now. They're already attracting the highest quality candidates.


I disagree on many levels; first, this assumes that the absolute best people are going into academia now, instead of medicine or law or finance or management. Second, a person's quality of work (even a desperate one!) is not independent of compensation, far from it. That PhD. that you hire at rock-bottom wages (or, what amounts to the same thing, who is given a greater work load) is simply not going to be as effective. Third, your argument fails to explain why CEOs get the salaries they do, since if anything the glut of potential CEO candidates is even greater than the glut of PhDs.
   43. JJ1986 Posted: March 18, 2013 at 12:46 PM (#4390534)
Are their really that many more Europeans than White Americans in the NBA. I would guess the numbers are about even
   44. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 18, 2013 at 12:50 PM (#4390540)
Third, your argument fails to explain why CEOs get the salaries they do, since if anything the glut of potential CEO candidates is even greater than the glut of PhDs.

Because they pack the board of directors with their cronies (mostly other CEOs), who have every interest in seeing CEO pay go up.

It's basically theft.
   45. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 18, 2013 at 01:02 PM (#4390548)

Are their really that many more Europeans than White Americans in the NBA. I would guess the numbers are about even


I think I read that the league is 20% white non-American, 6% white American.
   46. SteveM. Posted: March 18, 2013 at 01:15 PM (#4390558)
I teach at an HBCU, and half our baseball team is white, for what its worth in this argument.
   47. JJ1986 Posted: March 18, 2013 at 01:22 PM (#4390563)
I think I read that the league is 20% white non-American, 6% white American.


That doesn't seem right. Maybe it's by minutes played.

Eyeballing current rosters:

non-American (49 - Greivis and Bogut went to school here, Kanter tried to): Pachulia, Shengelia, Teletovic, Belinelli, Radmanovic, Casspi, Varejao, Dirk, Fournier, Gallinari, Kofos, Mozgov, Calderon, Jerebko, Kravstov, Bogut (AUS), Biedrins, Delfino, Garcia, Motiejunas, Asik, Ohlbrecht, P. Gasol, M. Gasol, Rubio, Barea, Shved, Pekovic, AK-47, Ilyasova, Pryzbilla, G. Vasquez, Prigioni, Thabo, Turkoglu, Vucevic, Dragic, Scola, Gortat, Haddadi (Iran), Claver, Pavolvic, Freeland, Manu, Kleiza, Bargnani, Valancianus, Kanter, Vesely.

American (40): Korver, B. Lopez, S. Randolph, Jeff Taylor, Mullens, McBob, Hinrich, Walton, Zeller, Kaman, Singler, K. Thompson (?), Lee, Parsons, Hansbrough, Hansbrough, Plumlee, S. Blake, M. Miller, Birdman, Leuer, Ridnour, Love, Budinger, Stiemsma, Redick, Dunleavy, R. Anderson, R. Lopez, J. Smith, Novak, N. Collison, Hawes, Babbitt, M. Leonard, Bonner, Jimmer, Aldrich, Gray, Hayward.

North American, not USA (2): Steve Nash, Gustavo Ayon.
   48. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 18, 2013 at 01:28 PM (#4390568)
K. Thompson (?),

No.
   49. Ebessan Posted: March 18, 2013 at 01:34 PM (#4390569)
Also, Pryzbilla is American, and Sefolosha is black.
   50. GregD Posted: March 18, 2013 at 01:37 PM (#4390572)
B. Lopez
?
   51. JJ1986 Posted: March 18, 2013 at 01:38 PM (#4390573)
Never mind, too slow to edit.

I made a few mistake, but it's nowhere near a 3:1 ratio.
   52. The Good Face Posted: March 18, 2013 at 01:47 PM (#4390582)
I disagree on many levels; first, this assumes that the absolute best people are going into academia now, instead of medicine or law or finance or management.


You're conflating two distinct populations; the existing talent pool that we have today, and some hypothetical future talent pool. It's a fact that Universities today have their pick of the very best qualified candidates from the existing pool when it comes to tenure track hiring. It's a possibility that the existing pool is actually pretty crappy, and would become much better if the Universities paid more, but where's the evidence? The fact that the cream of the existing pool can be hired so cheaply is prima facie evidence that the pool is already too large, so you've got some work to do.

Second, a person's quality of work (even a desperate one!) is not independent of compensation, far from it. That PhD. that you hire at rock-bottom wages (or, what amounts to the same thing, who is given a greater work load) is simply not going to be as effective.


Effective at what? What's the measuring stick? The Universities themselves seem pretty pleased with their ROI. Especially considering they have most of their teaching done by adjuncts and grad students who are paid MUCH less than young tenure track hires. I mean, I suppose if you paid McDonalds fry cooks a lot more money, you could have some sort of burger artisan prepare your Big Mac, but what's the point? Enough people are obviously quite pleased with the current status of the Big Mac such that it doesn't warrant that kind of change. The biggest gripes about US Universities right now center around costs, not teaching quality. The gripes I DO see about teaching quality typically come from the right and revolve around ideological conformity/ideological indoctrination. How would paying professors more address either of those concerns?

Third, your argument fails to explain why CEOs get the salaries they do, since if anything the glut of potential CEO candidates is even greater than the glut of PhDs.


Your problem here is an apples to oranges comparison. A tenure track hire is essentially an entry level job; the supply of those jobs is limited which drives up competition for them, but it's still an entry level job. If you don't take it, you can pretty much forget about progressing in your academic career; there are virtually no other options. A CEO position is a terminal level role, reserved for people who have risen to the top of their field. The most in-demand CEO candidates are ALREADY making very good money in a job they're currently succeeding in. If you try to shortchange such a candidate, they'll tell you to get lost because they have other options.

People see some CEO on the news leading a company to failville while getting paid 8 or even 9 figures and they snark about how they'd be happy to ruin the company for a fraction of that. But the snark misses the point that as a big a ###### as that CEO might have been, he was still (usually) qualified for that job in a way that the snarker is not. Just like people snark about how they'd be happy to do what some tenured professors do for less money; roll into campus twice a week hungover (or still drunk), read from a sheaf of yellowing notes, dole out As to everybody, and go home for more drinking while collecting a 6 figure salary with complete job security. I know plenty of people who would jump at that job, but THEY don't have Ph.Ds from Yale. Oh well.
   53. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 18, 2013 at 02:13 PM (#4390598)
B. Lopez


?

Brook and Robin Lopez - cuban father, american mother, raised in the US, (male) twins.
   54. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: March 18, 2013 at 02:21 PM (#4390605)
The second part is half true; administrative bloat is real and is sucking up a ton of resources. The professors themselves aren't really seeing much of all that money going to the universities. The assistant supervisor working for the Associate VP of the Department of Diversity Compliance is probably making more than most tenure track professors; they're certainly making much, much, more than the adjuncts and graduate students who are actually doing most of the teaching work.

This 100 times.


Another 100 from me. I suspect that I attended the same school that Jim teaches at, and 'administrative bloat' couldn't be more accurate. I was there around roughly 2008-2010, which was a bad time to be anywhere near public education. Every term class size went up, fewer courses were offered, those that were were offered less frequently, instructor positions were reduced or eliminated entirely, guidance/assistance for students went from gapingly insufficient to nearly non-existent, academic programs were cut, tuition and all fees went way up... while massive capital improvements continued to be erected all around campus, high-profile administrators were brought in at outrageous salaries and existing administrators received huge raises at least once a year if not more. It was sickening.
   55. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 18, 2013 at 02:29 PM (#4390608)
This article says US-born whites make up 12% of rosters, non-American (doesn't differentiate between non-whites and whites) is 20%. So assuming some of those foreign born players are non-white, it sounds fairly even.

This much older article (2004?) says that among white NBA players, 55% are US-born, 45% are foreign born.
   56. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: March 18, 2013 at 02:34 PM (#4390611)
Every term class size went up, fewer courses were offered, those that were were offered less frequently, instructor positions were reduced or eliminated entirely, guidance/assistance for students went from gapingly insufficient to nearly non-existent, academic programs were cut, tuition and all fees went way up... while massive capital improvements continued to be erected all around campus, high-profile administrators were brought in at outrageous salaries and existing administrators received huge raises at least once a year if not more. It was sickening.

Why does this happen? Is it an effort to attract more students capable of paying full freight? Does it work?
   57. GregD Posted: March 18, 2013 at 02:50 PM (#4390622)
depending on the school it could be funding sources. Many public unis get year-to-year money from state government but can pay for buildings on muni or state bonds, so you can be in a position where you can't afford to run classes but can afford to build dorms. Weird but logical.
   58. BDC Posted: March 18, 2013 at 02:52 PM (#4390624)
Is it an effort to attract more students

Students are increasingly beside the point. Universities are run more and more like businesses, and their chief business advantages are tax breaks and real estate, which they put to work building development empires. They have the tax breaks and the real estate in the first place because they were (and nominally still are) schools, but the actual teaching of students is a "cost center," something to be controlled, not cultivated.

Edit: GregD makes an excellent point about funding mechanisms. The Texas state systems, for instance, have massive endowments that must be used for buildings and grounds, not salaries. The UT and A&M schools will typically all have at least one major building going up at all times.
   59. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 18, 2013 at 03:46 PM (#4390664)

Why does this happen? Is it an effort to attract more students capable of paying full freight? Does it work?


Administrators, like most people, prefer having more money to having less.

When there is no P&L requirement, the surest way to get paid more is to have more people working for you.

If you have 2 people working for you making $75K, you look like you're worth $125K. If you have 10 people working for you making $75-150K, you look like you're worth $225K.
   60. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: March 18, 2013 at 07:04 PM (#4390750)
A couple of points to throw in about higher ed (I currently work at a university):

1) The total compensation of tenured personnel is meaningful: While most tenured faculty are hardly getting rich of their salary, the benefits are very generous compared to most private-sector jobs (at our university, the standards benefits percentage is about 43% of base salary). Also, retirement costs for those faculty members whose careers pre-dated the defined contribution era are significant. In those cases, you're paying a lot of dollars today for people who aren't even on campus anymore.

2) That said, the money is not going to tenured faculty, in the big picture. The big salaries are definitely going to administration - and the 43% benefit multiplier really adds to the total compensation figure. It is a highly bureaucratic structure, far more than I understood prior to working in higher education.

3) Amen about the capital spending. "Keeping up with the Joneses" is real, financing instruments are currently at historically-cheap levels, and higher ed is (in my opinion) slow to use technology to enjoy efficiencies which could be gained.

BTW, Columbia Journalism School today announced their tuition for the 2013-2014 year...tuition, room and board? $84K. At least you'll get a degree in a growth field...
   61. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: March 18, 2013 at 07:27 PM (#4390755)
Many public unis get year-to-year money from state government but can pay for buildings on muni or state bonds, so you can be in a position where you can't afford to run classes but can afford to build dorms.

In the five years I've been slowly working on my Masters, I've seen classes cut that have directly affected my degree progress while at the same time millions are being poured into "campus beautification" efforts. If you've ever had the misfortune of seeing the UT-Dallas campus, you'd know spending millions on campus beautification is just a drop in the proverbial bucket.
   62. flournoy Posted: March 18, 2013 at 08:42 PM (#4390797)
I don't think I understand that link in #61. It goes to a "50 Ugliest College Campuses" piece, and almost all of the pictures they show of "ugly" stuff looks perfectly fine, and occasionally beautiful, to me. I will grant that I do not have an eye for this kind of stuff, but I don't even understand the complaints they raise in the little blurb about each place.

My conclusion: The people at that website are assho|es.
   63. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: March 18, 2013 at 08:57 PM (#4390806)
I don't think I understand that link in #61. It goes to a "50 Ugliest College Campuses" piece, and almost all of the pictures they show of "ugly" stuff looks perfectly fine, and occasionally beautiful, to me. I will grant that I do not have an eye for this kind of stuff, but I don't even understand the complaints they raise in the little blurb about each place.

My conclusion: The people at that website are assho|es.


Agree. I looked through. I admit I've never been to the university of Maryland, but when all they showed was a small corner of one building with half a fountain, I got suspicions. There's nothing wrong with this.

   64. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: March 18, 2013 at 09:58 PM (#4390852)
A couple of points to throw in about higher ed (I currently work at a university):

1) The total compensation of tenured personnel is meaningful: While most tenured faculty are hardly getting rich of their salary, the benefits are very generous compared to most private-sector jobs (at our university, the standards benefits percentage is about 43% of base salary). Also, retirement costs for those faculty members whose careers pre-dated the defined contribution era are significant. In those cases, you're paying a lot of dollars today for people who aren't even on campus anymore.

2) That said, the money is not going to tenured faculty, in the big picture. The big salaries are definitely going to administration - and the 43% benefit multiplier really adds to the total compensation figure. It is a highly bureaucratic structure, far more than I understood prior to working in higher education.

3) Amen about the capital spending. "Keeping up with the Joneses" is real, financing instruments are currently at historically-cheap levels, and higher ed is (in my opinion) slow to use technology to enjoy efficiencies which could be gained.

BTW, Columbia Journalism School today announced their tuition for the 2013-2014 year...tuition, room and board? $84K. At least you'll get a degree in a growth field...


It's interesting reading the perceptions about what's going on in the university system. As someone who has worked at several large research universities in the biomedical field, my perception is wildly different than what people describe here. First, "tenure-track" stuff is very much on the way out if basically gone altogether. It doesn't really exist at the major universities in my discipline, except for the most super of superstar scientists in their mid-career. Most professors are paid only a small amount by the university - the vast majority of professor salaries are paid through the grants professors must write to bring money in to the university. Professors are more like independent contractors who fund the university infrastructure through grants from various government and charity organizations. Universities take a cut off the top for various expenses, and the prof carries forward the research delivering the various promised research products to the funding entity. There is very little administration at the department level - a couple low-paid admins, but that's really about it. The department chair and others are usually researchers in their own right and their admin responsibilities have to come second to their research. Teaching is certainly one aspect of what goes on, and the teaching is excellent (particularly at the PhD level), but it's only one part of what research universities do, and it's not really the biggest part. Mostly it's the establishment of various "shops" of expertise, which can be contracted out by various funding agencies to conduct whatever high-level research they choose to fund. Deans of schools are usually well-compensated, but their jobs are usually about bringing in more projects and donations to the schools, so often a dean who is good at his job is worth many, many times what they're actually paid and help fund the structural improvements that can't be done by individual professors.
   65. PreservedFish Posted: March 18, 2013 at 10:26 PM (#4390871)
the biomedical field


I'm guessing there's a divide between the world of professors that actually do useful work and the world of professors that study, you know, Flaubert, or the middle ages, or post-structuralism, or whatever.
   66. Dr. Vaux Posted: March 18, 2013 at 10:30 PM (#4390873)
You'd be surprised at how ugly the world would get without those professors.
   67. tshipman Posted: March 18, 2013 at 10:40 PM (#4390881)
I'm guessing there's a divide between the world of professors that actually do useful work and the world of professors that study, you know, Flaubert, or the middle ages, or post-structuralism, or whatever.


Why is it not useful to study Flaubert or the middle ages or post-structuralism?
   68. PreservedFish Posted: March 18, 2013 at 10:46 PM (#4390884)
Didn't think that would be inflammatory. I'm a happy liberal arts grad, English major. I think those things are great. I didn't mean that they were purposeless, just that they aren't as, I dunno, productive as biomedical research.
   69. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: March 19, 2013 at 01:19 AM (#4390978)
Didn't think that would be inflammatory. I'm a happy liberal arts grad, English major. I think those things are great. I didn't mean that they were purposeless, just that they aren't as, I dunno, productive as biomedical research.


It's hard to say. I was talking with a faculty who has had a very distinguished career and won several prestigious awards and done tons of good research, and she said she wasn't sure if she had ever actually prevented any deaths from colon cancer through her work. I think she was being absurdly hard on herself, but that's the kind of thing that can happen in even the best research career. At least if you're teaching Flaubert, you know you've in some way enriched the lives of those who you forced to read it.
   70. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: March 19, 2013 at 11:06 AM (#4391151)
Well, if we can't get African-Americans to play baseball, how about African Africans?
   71. Styles P. Deadball Posted: March 19, 2013 at 11:52 AM (#4391205)
It's interesting reading the perceptions about what's going on in the university system. As someone who has worked at several large research universities in the biomedical field, my perception is wildly different than what people describe here. First, "tenure-track" stuff is very much on the way out if basically gone altogether. It doesn't really exist at the major universities in my discipline, except for the most super of superstar scientists in their mid-career. Most professors are paid only a small amount by the university - the vast majority of professor salaries are paid through the grants professors must write to bring money in to the university. Professors are more like independent contractors who fund the university infrastructure through grants from various government and charity organizations. Universities take a cut off the top for various expenses, and the prof carries forward the research delivering the various promised research products to the funding entity. There is very little administration at the department level - a couple low-paid admins, but that's really about it. The department chair and others are usually researchers in their own right and their admin responsibilities have to come second to their research. Teaching is certainly one aspect of what goes on, and the teaching is excellent (particularly at the PhD level), but it's only one part of what research universities do, and it's not really the biggest part. Mostly it's the establishment of various "shops" of expertise, which can be contracted out by various funding agencies to conduct whatever high-level research they choose to fund. Deans of schools are usually well-compensated, but their jobs are usually about bringing in more projects and donations to the schools, so often a dean who is good at his job is worth many, many times what they're actually paid and help fund the structural improvements that can't be done by individual professors.


And what the f*^k does all this have to do with Larry Herndon being pissed off that he has yet to be mentioned?
   72. smileyy Posted: March 19, 2013 at 12:51 PM (#4391311)
Does the headline suffer from extremely narrow views of "black" and "America"?
   73. SOLockwood Posted: March 19, 2013 at 01:11 PM (#4391340)
re: Frank Robinson. Although he's obviously not as central to Giants history as Mays, McCovey, or Dusty Baker, he was the 1st African-American manager in the National League. Which makes a certain bit of ironic sense: just as the Giants' first black player (Hank Thompson) was a retread (previously with the Browns), so was the Giants' first black manager.
   74. BDC Posted: March 19, 2013 at 03:10 PM (#4391597)
I didn't mean that they were purposeless, just that they aren't as, I dunno, productive as biomedical research

I'm inclined to agree (having just taught a class on the middle ages this morning :) But taking ellsbury's point into account, sure, biomedical research institutes and the like would pay for themselves if public universities didn't exist. Public universities are becoming more and more the shell for privately-funded biomedical research institutes, in fact. This is all a super business model.

My lecture on The Song of Roland does not have to be funded by anybody, and I can't imagine the market will ever fund it (unless some ultra-right-wing French nationalists want to, which has problems of its own. But if you privatize the university system by funding only productive stuff, then soon nobody will know anything about The Song of Roland. That might be fine with everybody, but it should be clear that that's what's fixing to happen if one stays on the current plan of running universities like businesses. The whole original point of many universities was that they'd fund stuff that doesn't find its own funding in ROI terms (though it has sometimes found it in other ways, via patronage, for instance).
   75. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: March 19, 2013 at 07:24 PM (#4391879)
Just like people snark about how they'd be happy to do what some tenured professors do for less money; roll into campus twice a week hungover (or still drunk), read from a sheaf of yellowing notes, dole out As to everybody, and go home for more drinking while collecting a 6 figure salary with complete job security. I know plenty of people who would jump at that job, but THEY don't have Ph.Ds from Yale. Oh well.


Substitute "nudging your career along writing crappy articles for pointless journals", and "spending only as little time as you can get away with on those necessary inconveniences called students" for some of that "drinking", and this describes my experiences at universities. It's appalling.

Is it an effort to attract more students

Students are increasingly beside the point. Universities are run more and more like businesses, and their chief business advantages are tax breaks and real estate, which they put to work building development empires. They have the tax breaks and the real estate in the first place because they were (and nominally still are) schools, but the actual teaching of students is a "cost center," something to be controlled, not cultivated.


This is disgustingly true. I did a little research at one college I attended and noted over the years that students were increasingly marginalized and literally pushed to the perimeter of campus, into cheap, cinderblock and paint buildings, while the core administration moved into the most attractive buildings on campus. Some of the old, beautiful dorms were also turned into faculty offices while students were pushed into those dreadful concrete hi-rises a twenty minute bus ride from the original, still beautiful dorms. I don't doubt this is true for most colleges.

Students in most colleges are treated as a necessary evil, the rationale for the continued operation of institutions of which they are no longer anything more than tertiary beneficiaries.
   76. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: March 19, 2013 at 08:59 PM (#4391984)
One of my best friends just completed his PhD in something biomedical after around 8-9 years of post-graduate labor working half on his area of study and half on whatever the lab he was working for was working on. Immediately after getting the degree, he transitioned to a paid position running a lab in the same building where his new job description basically consists of what seems like 90% grant-writing to get money to buy equipment, learning how to use the equipment and then leasing out the lab and the equipment to make the lab money and 10% research on whatever. This is also at a UC.
   77. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 19, 2013 at 11:36 PM (#4392157)
Substitute "nudging your career along writing crappy articles for pointless journals", and "spending only as little time as you can get away with on those necessary inconveniences called students" for some of that "drinking", and this describes my experiences at universities.


Pity, wasn't my experience at all. Of course I was in the hard sciences, lots of enthusiasm to go around there.
   78. BochysFingers Posted: March 19, 2013 at 11:57 PM (#4392180)
Emmanuel Burriss?
   79. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: March 20, 2013 at 12:59 AM (#4392204)
Pity, wasn't my experience at all. Of course I was in the hard sciences, lots of enthusiasm to go around there.


Yeah, that's my experience as well. Most of the people I know could be making way more money in industry if they wanted to, so the people who stay in academia tend to really believe in what they're doing.
   80. Jittery McFrog Posted: March 20, 2013 at 08:38 AM (#4392252)
Teaching is certainly one aspect of what goes on, and the teaching is excellent (particularly at the PhD level), but it's only one part of what research universities do

I've been at a number of research universities (a different scientific field though), and this is not what I've observed. I've encountered a few good teachers, but most have been quite bad (especially at the PhD level, in my experience).

And this should be expected. The faculty are hired primarily for research-related activities, and spend most of their time on research-related activities because their advancement is based primarily on research-related activities. Research/grants have be the focus of their time.

The grad students' and postdocs' advancement towards their degree/next job is based primarily on research-related activities (with a little bit of course work thrown in, in the case of grad students). In many cases that I've seen, they do not receive any preparation or training in pedagogy, their teaching receives little to no constructive evaluation, and there is little to no reward, apart from personal satisfaction, for teaching well. Research activities have to be the focus of their time, too.

In these circumstances it is difficult even for talented, motivated people to teach well. (And for less talented, less motivated people ... yikes.)

Again, this is only my experience, from grad student-ing and postdoc-ing at various research universities, so take it for whatever that's worth...
   81. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: March 23, 2013 at 03:13 PM (#4395000)
Substitute "nudging your career along writing crappy articles for pointless journals", and "spending only as little time as you can get away with on those necessary inconveniences called students" for some of that "drinking", and this describes my experiences at universities.

Pity, wasn't my experience at all. Of course I was in the hard sciences, lots of enthusiasm to go around there.


Not surprised. Genuine progress in the hard sciences is harder to fake. That's one of the problem areas in the humanities, where accomplishment (pretty much only the number of articles in specific journals) is measured in ways that have nothing to do with anything inherently meaningful. It's the problem that comes with attempting to quantify things that are largely unquantifiable, and relying only on the simplest, easiest measure.

When you assemble a faculty in the humanities largely by publication success, it's a lot like putting together a team based on batting average.

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