John Infante asks a great question: should college athletic departments be self-supporting?
His answer isn’t so much that it couldn’t be done, but that we might not like the road taken to get there.
… For those who believe a Division I athletic department should not require assistance from the university, financial fair play regulations would be wildly successful. If an athletic department had to break even to be eligible for NCAA championships or bowl games, a lot of athletic departments would start breaking even quite quickly.
The problem is that some of those athletic departments would break even by shedding multiple sports and cutting administrative staff. Since the success of football and men’s basketball often drive revenue, cuts there could decrease opportunities to grow revenue, and thus keep the department afloat or improve competitiveness.