Friday, November 16, 2007

Are you not entertained?

I wasn't aware of the changing mission of the UW System. Apparently the new mission of UW-Madison is to provide free entertainment for the rest of the state.

In a letter sent to the co-chairs of the Joint Audit Committee last week, Reps. David Travis, D-Madison, Frank Boyle, D-Superior, and Mary Hubler, D-Rice Lake, asked for an audit of the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics at the UW-Madison.

Specifically, the trio asked auditors to examine the division's revenues and expenditures as well as a request to "specifically enumerate the amount of revenue the division has or will receive from any agreements involving the broadcast of sporting events on the Big Ten Network."

The three lawmakers said that their request stemmed from constituents' complaints over not being able to watch the Nov. 3 UW-Ohio State football game.

The Big Ten Network is operated under an agreement between Big Ten universities and the Fox Sports network. The universities have agreed to allow the channel exclusive broadcast rights for certain games -- including some UW football games and a number of Badger basketball games -- in exchange for revenues from the new network. (Ht: Dad29)
While I have found Dave Travis' antics to be highly entertaining, I'm not sure he's qualified to chair the entertainment committee for the entire state. Rather than worry about whether we can create a Public Television version of ESPN perhaps the state senators should be more interested in how much of a big business NCAA football has become. It might shatter some of senators' illusions, and lead to better compensation for the atheletes. Surely that's far more interesting than whether a few constituents can get their football fix for free. Who knows? It might even be entertaining.