After the facilities are completed, the meter keeps running. Thanks primarily to the football stadium upgrades, the Longhorn athletic department’s yearly debt service will double over the next year, to about $15 million annually. Utilities — air conditioning, heat, water — and maintenance cost the athletic department another $4.75 million a year — $115,000 just to keep the department’s grass football, softball and soccer fields soft and green.
Heavily recruited high schoolers expect flashier personal amenities, too, and UT obliges. Following its Rose Bowl victory, the football team was rewarded with a $200,000 renovation of its players lounge, a retreat with four TV projectors (screens drop from the ceiling at the push of a button embedded in a six-foot replica of the UT tower), six flat screen TVs, four X-boxes and three PlayStations.
Two floors down, the football locker room boasts another new lounge area, with five flat-screen TVs and a three-dimensional, lighted 20-foot Longhorn on the ceiling. Men’s and women’s basketball players can relax in their own private living rooms, each with large TVs, video games and recliners. (New recliners cost $15,020 last year.) The golf teams have a private player lounge at their new clubhouse.
This is absolutely disgusting. The football team gets is prestige from the University, not vice versa. They should be pouring money back into the school to fund scholarships and reduce tuition.