To the Editor,

In his editorial [Winter 2000], Prof. Lockwood suggested that the units of the Montana University System would be better served if they discontinued their intercollegiate athletic programs. Steve offered the opinion that intercollegiate athletics at these institutions "serve only a tiny fraction of the enrolled population." His "modest suggestion" premised that money currently expended on athletics could be better spent. A table listing expenditures by sport at the various units for fiscal year 1998 was included in the editorial and provided statistical data for Prof. Lockwood's conclusions.

At Montana Tech almost 14% of the full-time student population (180 of 1333) is currently, or was, a member of one of our athletic teams. This is not a tiny fraction. In addition, this number represents a significant portion of the dollars appropriated by the legislature to Tech, about $900,000 per year. Relative to the FY '98 budget expenditures mentioned by Prof. Lockwood, Montana Tech expended $851,307 on intercollegiate athletics. However, $279,252 was income and $253,439 was the dollar amount of fee waivers. The '98 fiscal year Montana Tech Varsity Athletic Budget is as follows:

Fee Waivers



Gate Receipts, Team Guarantees, Post Season Competition Revenue, Athletic Fees, Student Fees


Digger Athletic Assoc. Contributions





Total Expenditures


Fee Waivers & Income


General Fund Support


* A large portion of this number is an amount provided by the state funding formula only if an institution sponsors intercollegiate athletics.

In addition to augmenting enrollment and providing financial support at Montana Tech, intercollegiate athletics provide an invaluable learning experience for young people involved in these programs. As ASMT President Grant Williams wrote recently, "I know that qualities of integrity, honesty, accountability, teamwork, discipline, commitment, and work ethic that I learned during my four years of playing are going to help me at least as much as my technical skills throughout my career." The vast majority of our athletes are good students. Thirty-two were on our fall semester '99 campus honor roll. They came to Tech to obtain a degree and participate in our athletic programs. The opportunity to compete in intercollegiate athletics played a large part in their choice. Oredigger athletics generate positive publicity for the institution locally, regionally, and nationally. Games are opportunities for students, faculty, staff, administration, alumni, townspeople, etc., to gather. Intercollegiate athletics provide a focal point for our school.

At Montana Tech, our intercollegiate athletics program budget is money well spent. Eliminating athletics would damage our institution's financial position, not enhance it. I suspect that this is the case at the other units as well.


Bob Green
Head Football Coach, Athletic Director
Mt. Tech-UM

John Evans
Associate Professor,Petroleum Engineering
Mt. Tech-UM

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