To the Editor:
Recently, the football coach at Ohio State University resigned following discussions with the university's president, E. Gordon Gee, concerning the coach's handling of improprieties committed by members of the football team.
Then it was announced that a new football coach has been signed by the university. According to news articles, the new coach will receive a salary of $4-million per year—more than three times what Mr. Gee is paid—as well as an automobile stipend, a golf-club membership, 50 hours of private-jet use, and a dozen tickets to each home game.
And people talk about excessive pay on Wall Street!
For signing such a contract, the president should resign, and all the trustees who approved this contract should be replaced. They have displayed a colossal ignorance of the purpose of higher education. And they have done much more harm to their institution than did the former football coach: They have furthered the image of higher education as primarily interested in entertainment in the form of collegiate sports that receive huge sums from TV networks.
In other countries, institutions of higher education do not obtain revenue by using their students to hustle for them. If universities in this country hope to maintain the public's respect, they must stop acting like they are part of the entertainment industry.
The writer is a retired associate professor of educational foundations and policy studies at Florida State University.