The UCLA Flood And The Financial Disparity In College Sports

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As many as eight inches of water covered parts of athletic facilites at UCLA on Tuesday night, including Pauley Pavilion and Spaulding Field. A broken water pipe was the culprit, drenching the football practice facility and the gym with millions of gallons of water.

But those aren’t the only millions that are eye catching.

“A spokeswoman for UCLA said, at its peak, the water was as deep as eight inches at a facility that underwent a $136-million renovation, completed in 2012. A new synthetic turf was installed on Spaulding Field the same year.”

A $136 million dollar renovation. Just think about that figure.

 To put that in to perspective, the SWAC’s total athletic budget for 2013-14 was $71.1 million spread across 10 teams. Yet the SWAC and MEAC both compete in Division I, just like UCLA.

Make no mistake about it, the flooding at UCLA was an unfortunate event. But had that happened at an HBCU, it would be a catastrophe.

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js What would your HBCU do if its athletic facilities were hit with a similar curve ball? Most HBCU athletic departments are just living paycheck-to-paycheck. Something like this would probably set them back years financially, not just weeks or months.

Then again, HBCU sports have been in a broken-pipe financial cycle since they were started. And still, we rise.



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