U should have punted before paying $800,000 to break pact.
University of Minnesota athletic director Norwood Teague and Gophers football coach Jerry Kill convinced university President Eric Kaler to spend $800,000 to break a contract to play two football games with the University of North Carolina ("Ducking a so-so-foe not worth $800k," Oct. 16).
Here are other ways that money could have been spent:
1. Paying the tuition and fees for 59 full-time low-income students for a two-semester academic year at the U.
2. Paying for tuition and fees; plus, books and supplies, room and board, transportation, and miscellaneous costs for 32 low-income, full-time students for a two-semester academic year.
3. Providing a $2-per-hour pay increase for 192 full-time equivalents of the U's lowest-paid workers, many of whom, if not all, currently can't afford to rent a one-bedroom, market-rate apartment in the Twin Cities metro area, even when working full time, according to federal affordability guidelines.
I urge Minnesotans to let the governor, state legislators and university regents know whether the U should have spent $800,000 breaking the football contract or making one of the three choices listed above.
ROLAND WESTERLUND, MINNEAPOLIS
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.