|From the Athletic Director - July 17|
July 17, 2008
You may or may not have heard me talk about the value of Athletics to a University. Athletics programs add value to universities in a variety of ways. From a student athlete perspective, it provides educational opportunities and the chance to further athletic careers. The various scholarships, financial support, career development, and academic assistance create the leaders of tomorrow. The athletic department as a whole markets the University of Idaho by exposing the University to multiple media outlets (newspapers, television, radio, websites, blogs, etc.). The philosophy of the Department of Athletics is to showcase as much of the entire University as possible during its athletic events. Specific strategies include interviewing College Deans during halftime of football games, including information from academic departments in our bi-monthly newsletter, and ensuring a University advertisement is present on all televised games. Athletic events create a rallying point for our alumni who travel back to the area for athletic events and homecoming football games. Many of these events provide a fundraising atmosphere for our colleges. Prospective donors are brought to athletic events and cultivated by the university personnel and are reconnected with the University of Idaho.
According to an economic impact study by Steve Peterson of the College of Business and Economics, the Department of Athletics alone generates a $31 million economic impact to the community of Moscow and is responsible for more than 600 jobs. The Department of Athletics plays a major role in contributing to the diversity on this campus. More than 22 percent of our student athletes are considered minorities. With more than 330 student-athletes enrolled into the various colleges on campus and assuming a $12,148 cost of an in-state full scholarship, the Department contributes approximately $4 million back to the University of Idaho in registration fees and room and board costs. The Department of Athletics also provides employment and internship opportunities to more than 100 non student-athletes. Assisting in the Sports Information Department, Strength and Conditioning program, Marketing, Event Management, Business Affairs, Compliance and the Advancement areas, students are able to supplement their academic education with real world experiences. Finally the Department of Athletics supports the Arts by providing our University Band a venue to showcase its abilities in front of 15,000 fans at home football games.
Another value that is often overlooked is the role the Department of Athletics plays in student recruitment. This summer, our athletic camps for football, soccer, men’s basketball and volleyball attracted approximately 1,200 prospective students to our campus. Football had 685 participate in its team camp and another 75 in its youth camp. Men’s basketball attracted 30 teams to its team camp that was held in conjunction with a WAC officiating camp. Officials worked games between teams and then were evaluated by WAC officials. The quality officiating created a first-class camp for coaches and players. Soccer attracted an all-time high of 132 players between its youth and high school camp, and finally, volleyball had 70 athletes attend its individual camp and 20 teams participate in team camp. A select few of these athletes will compete at the Division I level but all can become future Idaho students.