Editorial: quality of academic should be more important than quality of athletics

The Collegian staff meets weekly and agrees on the issue of the editorial. The editorial represents the opinion of The Collegian.

The Collegian staff meets weekly and agrees on the issue of the editorial. The editorial represents the opinion of The Collegian.


Issue: The emphasis of athletics eclipses other areas at South Dakota State University.

Sports have been part of our lives since we were children.

Our parents put us in soccer, basketball, volleyball, football, gymnastics — you name it and we probably participated in it at some point. 

What once was the child who lacked coordination but was forced to play in every sport has grown into a fanatical sports fan complete with a foam finger and a colorful palette of face paint.

This fervor has continued throughout our lives and is now ever present at the university level. 

We, at The Collegian, want to make it clear we love sports. Enjoying a Saturday football game is a great way to spend a weekend. Many students, alumni and community members have vivid memories of standing in the football stands with the sun warming their face as they watch yellow and blue streak across the field.

But it is a problem when athletics is given favor over academics. 

Millions of dollars went to the Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium. The stadium was unveiled this fall, yet it has not reached seating capacity the entire season. Yes, we realize the extra space was meant to accommodate future Jackrabbits, but it is ridiculous to build a stadium when Scobey is mold-infested and other areas of the university need to be improved as well.

Where are the millions of dollars going to academics? Where are the full-ride academic scholarships? What happened to the love of learning? 

All these questions lead to a bigger question: why do athletics even matter at an institution meant for learning?


Monetary gain is the main reason athletics matter so much at SDSU and universities across the country. Donors are giving money to the most visible part of campus: sports.

We, at The Collegian, believe it’s time for this to change. 

Even within athletics, there is a hierarchy of importance. Sports that are the most visible like basketball and football bring in more donor dollars than many of the lesser-known sports. 

This phenomenon leads to putting greater worth on individual sports and athletes, creating an elevated illusion of worth of some while eliminating the worth of others. 

There is too much emphasis placed on certain groups of athletes, and other sports are often lost in the shuffle. Each sport and individual should be treated equally.

However, we, at The Collegian, are realists. We realize that it is impossible to have each sport be treated equally because we have created a system rooted in sports that bring the most funding. An easy step to rectify this situation is to be conscious of the emphasis placed on each sport. If you attend a football game then go watch a swim meet. See? It’s that easy. 

Better yet, if you attend a basketball game, spend the same amount of time studying for your impending final exams. 

At the core of education, learning is more important than tailgating and seeing SDSU win a football game against USD (even though it is a hell of a good time).

Sports are fun.

Education is why we are here.

Simple as that.

Stance: The quality of academic should be more important at the university than the quality of athletics.