The Patriot League was founded on the principle of no athletic scholarships. As in the Ivy league, all financial aid was to be given on the basis of demonstrated financial need. They have problems attracting members and in the past couple of years relented on the issue of basketball scholarships. (Although, it should be noted that the only team from the Patriot League to compete in the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournement last year, and the league’s champion for the past two years, was Lafayette College which still has no athletic scholarships). Several schools which would seem to be good candidates for the league based on size, location, and academics are reluctant to give up scholarships, especially in sports where their teams had been nationally ranked.
This leads me to my questions:
- To what extent do/would having a winning team play a role in your choice of college or university? (or your choice to recommend to someone choosing a schoool).
- If as an alumnus(alumna), your school sent you a plea stating that if enough people do not send them money soon, they would have to decrease spending on sports, and thus decrease the likelihood of having a winning team, would you send them money for sports? Would the amount of money you donate to your school be dependent on their athletic prowess?(regardless of answer to part a)
Note: I am NOT trying to figure out why an athlete might choose a high-profile sports school vs. one that might provide him or her with a better education and preparation for life outside in some career unrelated to sports. I AM wondering whether the concerns of school considering the Patriot League about offending alumni and having difficulty attracting students are realistic.
Note 2: If you know anything about the actual Patriot League, please ignore any perceptions about what kind of students seek such schools. I’m interested in the “generic american’s” feelings on student athletes being students first or athletes first, rather than just those who might be interested in Patriot League schools.