I’m sure this will come as a complete shock to you.
NCAA revenues and expenses data from the 2009-10 fiscal year show a widening gap between schools with self-sufficient athletics programs and schools that rely on institutional subsidy to balance their athletics budgets.
The most recent annual report indicates that “generated revenues” (ticket sales, NCAA and conference distributions, concessions, contributions, media rights and other sources not including institutional or governmental support, or student fees) exceeded expenses at 22 Football Bowl Subdivision institutions, eight more than during the previous fiscal year.
The median net surplus at those 22 institutions was about $7.4 million (ranging from $211,000 to $41.9 million), compared with the median net deficit for the remaining Football Bowl Subdivision schools of about $11.3 million. That gap – almost $19 million – is significantly higher than the $15.6 million separation in 2009.
The rich get richer. That’s what 21st century America is all about, my friends. And to an extent, there’s nothing wrong with that. Except this does seem a little tacky.
… Much of the rise in athletics revenue came from an escalation in money generated through multi-media rights deals, donations and ticket receipts, but schools also continued increasing their subsidies from student fees and institutional funds.
Altogether in 2010, about $2 billion in subsidies went to athletics programs at the 218 public schools that have been in the NCAA‘s top-level Division I over the past five years. Those subsidies grew by an inflation-adjusted 3% in 2010. They have grown by 28% since 2006 and account for $1 of every $3 spent on athletics.
Belt-tightening is for suckers.
Meanwhile, if you are the athletic director at a school that isn’t playing D-1 football, what are you thinking when you see this chart?
You’re probably thinking something along the lines of “I’ll gladly take my chances. Where do I sign up”? Of course, that’s one reason the NCAA has made the admissions process considerably more expensive.
But don’t worry, have-nots. Mark Emmert is on the mother.
… NCAA President Mark Emmert said the disparity this report shows among athletics programs in Division I is cause for concern and likely will drive the agenda at a presidential retreat Emmert is convening in August.
“That gap in revenue, either from self-generated or institutionally allocated sources, is significant,” Emmert said. “Indeed, it is coming to redefine what we mean by competitive equity. This will undoubtedly be a discussion point at the August presidential retreat.”
Keep in mind that Emmert is the same fellow who thinks that Jim Delany’s musings about extending full cost scholarships to student-athletes – as enormous a threat to the budgets of non-BCS conference schools as you could imagine – has merit. How he can balance that with a concern about “competitive equity” should be a neat trick. (So should Jim Delany’s keeping a straight face as Emmert attempts to do so.)
That presidential retreat should be a real hoot.