Thursday, May 29, 2008

ASU Reinstates Wrestling

After local civic leader’s financial support for ASU wresting, Arizona State University reinstated wrestling on May 23rd. Currently, there is an on-going effort to save ASU men’s swimming. As of earlier this week, there is talk that enough money will be raised to rescue the men’s swimming team for the short term – so far $170,000 has been raised of the $250,000 needed. It seems that ASU is willing to keep men’s swimming for the next three years, if $250,000 can be raised each year. In the long-run, the men’s swimming and tennis teams will have to raise $5 million and the wrestling team will have to raise $8 million in endowed money. That’s a lot of money to be raised for small programs. (I have not found anything about the men’s tennis team at this time). I looked up ASU’s 2006 athletic numbers and calculated the profit or loss for each men’s sport, which is reported below. Notice that football and basketball are the most profitable and baseball and track are the least profitable. So why not eliminate baseball and men’s track? Hey, I am just asking, not suggesting that this would be the best course of action. These are the type of questions that economist’s ask.

Sport (Arizona State)

Profit/Loss (-)

Rank (2007)







All Track Combined


1 (indoor) & 11 (outdoor)



11 (BSC)




Swimming and Diving









What about performance? I have listed each men’s sports rank and other than basketball – which is only one of two men’s programs that are profitable, the three lowest performing men’s programs, swimming, tennis and wrestling are the three to get the ax! While economics is important that reductions in the athletic budget needed to be made, overall performance seems to correlate better than profits or losses as to which of the men’s sports goes first.

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