SBD/Issue 237/Collegiate Sports

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  • Report: Only 14 FBS Schools Made Money From Athletics In FY '09


    A newly released NCAA report shows that "just 14 of the 120 Football Bowl Subdivision schools made money from campus athletics in the 2009 fiscal year, down from 25 the year before," according to Alan Scher Zagier of the AP. Researchers "blame the sagging economy and suggested that next year's numbers could be even worse." The research was done by Transylvania Univ. accounting professor Dan Fulks, and the study "shows the median amount paid by the 120 FBS schools to support campus athletics grew in one year from about" $8M to more than $10M. The NCAA "doesn't release individual schools' revenues and expenses," but Fulks confirmed that Alabama, Florida, Ohio State, Texas and Tennessee are "among the select group that made money from athletics." Missouri also made money, as the school reported generating $2M in profits from campus athletics in '09. NCAA interim President Jim Isch said that the numbers are "less a reflection of 'runaway spending' in college athletics than a reality of the country's larger economic crisis." Zagier wrote the "gap between the haves and the have-nots appears to be growing." The "largest reported amount of revenue generated by an athletics program" was $138.5M, which is "nearly three times the median" of $45.9M. Isch: "The top end ... still does not have to rely on institutional subsidies. But those that do are falling further behind." Sixty-eight FBS schools "reported turning a profit on football, with a median value" of $8.8M, while the 52 FBS schools that lost money on football reported median losses of $2.7M. The breakdown for basketball programs at those 120 schools was "nearly identical, though the median values for profitable programs ($2.9 million) and money-losing ones ($873,000) were smaller." Schools without football teams fared "even worse," as "none of the 97 schools in that category reported making money from athletics, with median losses of more than" $2.8M (AP, 8/23).

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