Last week radio harrumpher Steve Price came over all outraged about university sport sponsorships in an interview with Education Minister Simon Birmingham. “Why do universities need to stick their names on sporting teams and sporting ovals, he asked?”
This struck the minister as a “damn fine question” but as to how many universities sponsor how many teams, who knows?
The Department of Education and Training doesn’t. In a Senate committee hearing late last year then backbench senator Bridget McKenzie asked officials about university sponsorships. Officers did not have any details but mentioned examples they could think of and left it at that. When CMM asked the Department last week it had done no research. Perhaps it should, if only provide sceptics with evidence of the many benefits affiliations with sports provide universities and the students and taxpayers who fund them. Maybe Senator McKenzie, now elevated to cabinet, with a portfolio that includes sport might ask her officials to find out.