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37% of Regental Scholarship Money Aimed at Athletes

At next week's meeting on the School of Mines campus, South Dakota's Regents will discuss allowing our six public universities to fund scholarships with tuition remission and late-payment fees. The information sheet accompanying that agenda item itemizes the current sources of scholarship money on each campus and breaks down how much money goes to athletic scholarships and how much to general scholarships.

Scholarships FY2014 Institution-funded athletic Institution-funded general Foundation-funded athletic Foundation-funded general Total Athletic/ Total
BHSU 41,912 62,180 416,738 646,075 1,166,905 39.30%
DSU 74,615 0 210,968 494,675 780,258 36.60%
NSU 0 60,000 992,031 823,937 1,875,968 52.88%
SDSM&T 0 0 789,284 1,675,074 2,464,358 32.03%
SDSU 2,744,037 1,637,612 886,230 4,589,191 9,857,070 36.83%
USD 2,524,445 126,792 746,910 5,643,805 9,041,952 36.18%
System 5,385,009 1,886,584 4,042,161 13,872,757 25,186,511 37.43%

In the last academic year, our six public universities mustered $9.4 million to lower tuition for the providers of our gladiatorial entertainment. That's 37% of the total scholarships our Regental system handed out. Notice the only university whose athletic support notably exceeds that average is Northern State: Aberdonian athletes get almost 53% of NSU's scholarship dollars.


  1. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.11.27

    I'm embarrassed by my alma mater's misuse of scholarship funds. Is Clark Swisher still at Northern? He was when I was there, and in his mind the college existed for the purpose of boys' sports.

  2. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.11.27

    I played several sports at NSC and got to play in the College World Series (softball) twice. I'm very proud of that and it was a great experience. It was pre-Title IX and women's sports were badly treated throughout SD. Title IX has been a true godsend for women and girls, though the world of college male sports is still badly twisted.

    The big money sports - football and basketball especially - need to be separated from academics on the post high school level. Let the schools sponsor all sorts of teams and definitely make a variety of intramural athletics available. A burgeoning list of corrupt athletic departments and college/university administrations makes clear the failure of the present system.

  3. Paul Seamans 2014.11.27

    Are these figures like they are because that is where alumni contributors ask that their money go? Usually you can designate where you want your money to be spent.

  4. Wayne Pauli 2014.11.27

    Good point, the contributions that my wife and I make to the DSU foundation are specified as non-athletic. I am guessing the more aggressive university departments win. if the athletic dept hustles more then will come out on top, and the same goes for certain disciplines. We have many more technology and education scholarships than we do liberal arts directed annual monies or endowments from which to award scholarships. the donor gets to direct where it goes, just not who the specific awardee is.

  5. Wayne Pauli 2014.11.27

    when were you at NSU? I completed my undergraduate degree there from Sept 1973 to Dec 1976. I took swimming from Clark, and was also on the football team for 1 year, he had been relegated to special teams coach by then..he taught my Mom in the 1940's. it is a small world in South Dakota

  6. Mike B 2014.11.27

    Please note that the lion's share of institutional athletic scholarship money is given out by the D1 schools: USD and SDSU.

  7. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.11.28

    Wayne, 71-76. Kretchman was your coach then. College was all about the boys then, and we women got what was leftover, if anything. Swisher loved his boys. I was in several classes with Swisher's Boys, and his favorites didn't have to work too hard.

    BTW, I'm sorry to say I don't remember you Wayne. There were male athletes who did work hard in class and were good guys.

  8. Francis Schaffer 2014.11.28

    Kind of proud of my alma mater, way to go Hardrockers.

  9. Bob Klein 2014.11.28

    I'm not all that thrilled by these numbers.

    I wonder if some of them aren't influence by Title IX mandated efforts. Is it more difficult to generate scholarship donations for women's athletics, thus necessary to use general dollars?

  10. MJL 2014.11.28

    How are the numbers designated? Are these based on athletes getting the scholarship that might have gotten them if they were not playing a sport, or are these students getting them because they play the sport and for no other reason?

  11. tara volesky 2014.11.28

    MJL, the athletes are getting scholarships for no other reasons than for sports. In smaller schools you can get a GED and still get an athletic scholarship.

  12. Wayne pauli 2014.11.28

    I was the guy hanging out in the Wolves Den in a sport coat as I worked afternoons at a bank. Classes in the morning and work in the afternoon. Business Administration major so I hung out in Mewald Jensen.

  13. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.11.28

    Ooooh. THAT guy! Well, not really. I was usually in Spafford and Dacotah. (I think those names are correct.)

    I always thought if I wasn't in education and athletics, I'd choose art. It's not only that I liked art, but I liked how they got to dress. Never business! The women, who were learning how to take shorthand and be secretaries, had to wear dresses and nylons and heels! Ugh!

    Go Wolves!

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