An Interview with Former College Athlete Jacob Sumners, Part II

By Drew Laurens

Click here to read Part I.

This is the second part of my conversation with Jacob Sumners. In it, we discuss the academic success of college athletes, kids and sports, and the destructive side of the sports we love.

DL: You said before that everyone’s an alumni when you’re winning. Do you think that the kind of money a university makes from alumni donations after a championship actually benefits the students there? I’m asking about students as a whole, including the athletes.

JS: It’s true that donations and financial support increase when a college team wins a lot of games. The money that the school makes sometimes turns into positive things for the whole student body like a new Fine Arts building or whatever. But the fact is that the sports teams need money reinvested in them in order to make more money the next season, perhaps with a bowl appearance or even a championship. So you’ll see sports teams’ needs take precedence over the school’s as a whole. They have to support the system otherwise they lose money on it. Most schools don’t start making money on their teams until they start winning for exactly that reason. And those schools trying to break into the sports side of things lose money for years. Continue reading