College sports, as played by the top universities, have entered an entirely new era. Television is willing to pay substantial sums for lucrative marquee match-ups each week. The Universities of Texas and Notre Dame just signed to play each other for four consecutive years—imagine the television ratings for those games! Next we may find ourselves with a “super-conference,” where four national conferences of 16 teams each will dominate the media and the revenues.
On January 6th, The Chronicle of Higher Education revealed that Richard Vedder's "Innovations" blog "Why Did 17 Million Students Go to College?" was its third most read story of 2010.
This creates a dilemma for the next group of 70–90 schools. How should they respond? One possible move would be to stop participating in Division I sports and redesign their programs to meet the needs of students. But there are signs that instead, most have ramped up their efforts to join the winners' circle.
Also on January 6th, the Austin American Statesman published an opinion article by Richard Vedder examining faculty productivity at Texas A&M University.