Some of you may have seen the recent 60 Minutes piece on the business side of college football. It caught my interest because it was mostly focused on the University of Michigan football program. I guess it’s no surprise that like other universities, Michigan relies on its football program to generate the money it needs to pay for most of the rest of its athletics program.
According to the 60 Minutes reporter, the current U-M athletic department budget is $133 million, which funds 29 different student sports. Of this total budget, about 75 percent — more than $90 million — is brought in by the U-M football program. In addition, the Michigan athletics department contributes more than $1.5 million a year to the university’s M-PACT program, which provides grant assistance to low-income Michigan residents.
I have always enjoyed attending Michigan football games, and I think it is an important part of the student experience. I know it was for me and my classmates. While it may be a challenge for the players to balance their athletic and academic commitments, it seems that many are able to successfully do so. I look forward to keeping up with the team, even if I am unable to attend games in the future.