Tampa Bay

* The hype over an on-campus, $340-million USF football stadium continues to pick up momentum. Revenue sports–and their myriad ripple effects–have never been more embedded into the collegiate experience. It’s enough to periodically raise the obvious question as to what is an acceptable role for high-profile football and coaches paid more than cancer researchers and university presidents in an institution of higher learning. Here are two responses:

^“Sometimes it’s hard to rally around the math department”: Alabama’s Bear Bryant.

^Football is your “front porch.” Once you get loyal fans there, they can be briefed about what else is going on and where help is needed. That was USF’s Skip Holtz.

* USF has now joined the prestigious Association of American Universities, the top-tier, research institution group. The state’s other public-university AAU member is the University of Florida. How welcoming: higher ed in the news that doesn’t involve gubernatorial meddling.

* Tampa Pride has canceled its annual Pride on the River event in September. Yes, it had everything to do with the DeSantis-imposed political climate in Florida. And, no, having to cancel Pride on the River is nothing to be proud of.

* “There’s all sorts of ways that we can use digital technology to engage, especially newer, younger audiences.”–Greg Holland, the new president and CEO of the Straz Center.

* According to national rental-index stats compiled at FAU, Tampa is the 18th most expensive metro area.

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