“For someone who doesn’t care a whole lot about athletics, it seems a bit much for me to have to contribute…”

It’s bad enough that student athletic fees have increased faster than the overall cost of a public university education over the last decade.

Schools in Division 1, the top level of college sports, collected $1.2 billion in fiscal 2018, according to NCAA figures, 51 percent more than a decade ago. By contrast, the average yearly tuition at a four-year public college has risen 37 percent in the same span, according to the College Board.

It’s even worse that many schools hide that expense by burying it in tuition costs.

Students often have little way to know how much they’re paying towards athletics. Many schools, despite reporting large revenues from student fees in athletic finance documents, do not list an athletic fee on their website or tuition bills.

NBC News examined actual tuition bills received by students from 20 schools in six states that collect athletic fees, and didn’t find the fees listed on any of the bills. In more than half of those cases, we were able to determine the fees by looking at a school’s financial website. In the rest, however, we had to ask a school official or file a public records request.

And the Adding Insult to Injury Award has to go to Miami of Ohio for this bullshit move:

At least one school used its fees to keep itself from being kicked out of the top tier of Division 1.

Miami University in Oxford, Ohio — which charged students $1,044.87 in athletic fees this school year — has used money from student fees to make up for low ticket sales. It purchased 10,000 of its own football tickets per home game this past season. The tickets were not resold at a discounted rate or donated.

Amazing this stuff isn’t more of a public outrage.  I guess it’s okay when it’s in pursuit of the academic experience.



Filed under It's Just Bidness

15 responses to ““For someone who doesn’t care a whole lot about athletics, it seems a bit much for me to have to contribute…”

  1. Holiday Inn Bagman

    An athletic fee of a thousand dollars per student?! GTFO! That shocked me so I had to look up UGA’s which was $53 in the last report I could quickly find. Students should even be questioning the necessity of that fee.


  2. ATL Dawg

    In case anyone is wondering, the UGA AA received $3.5 million from student fees for their most recently completed fiscal year (the one that ended June 30, 2019). Both Chip Towers and Marc Weiszer reported that amount a little over a month ago in these articles. The student fees are mentioned about 3/4 of the way into the Towers article and almost at the end of the Weiszer article. Note that their revenue was $174 million.




  3. I think UGA should make the athletic fee an opt-in for the entire year not just fall semester. If you opt-in, you can get student access to sporting events. If you don’t, you get no access to student tickets even through the student ticket exchange.

    The university uses the fig leaf of student use of Stegeman (when does that ever happen) and the track to rationalize it.

    Click to access tuition_athletic_fee_fact_sheet.pdf


  4. Tony Barnfart

    What the Group of 5 schools pay their coaches, given the student fees (as discussed above) and the allocation of taxpayer/university general funds, is downright criminal. Still very little discussion of this in the press. For example, Charlie Strong’s $5M salary at USF was 15% (!!!) of their $33M revenue generated from actual operations. (they were bolstered by $28M in welfare from the school/taxpayer and student).


    • Tony Barnfart

      By way of example, Kirby’s is somewhere between 2.8% and 3.8% (couldn’t get exact data synced on years). If Kirby were to fleece Georgia the way Strong fleeced USF, his salary would be $26.4M.