Here is an essential part of Notre Dame's Mission Statement: "The University is dedicated to the pursuit and sharing of truth for its own sake. As a Catholic university, one of its distinctive goals is to provide a forum where, through free inquiry and open discussion, the various lines of Catholic thought may intersect with all the forms of knowledge found in the arts, sciences, professions, and every other area of human scholarship and creativity." The business of NCAA football and the obsession with winning have nothing to do with this mission...other than to help finance it...if it finances it. At many universities, including where football is the sacred cow, the football budget is a drain on other university functions, the money raised by football stays within the athletic department, and the activity has nothing to do with their mission statements either. I think the free market aspect of coaches' salaries is relevant only if you consider NCAA football to be a business rather than an educational function, and what the free market commands may be entirely inconsistent with taxpayer funding purposes and nonprofit status ("private inurement" restrictions). The current system is built on a lie, one I admit I also enjoy every Fall Saturday.
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