Today over on USA Today they’ve got a piece on schools who use student fees and other institutional support to round out the athletic department budget. The piece focuses on Rutgers, but also lists the ten schools who rely the most on these funds in automatic qualifying conferences:
|Schools from BCS automatic qualifying conferences with the greatest amount of 2009-10 athletics revenue allocated from institutional or government support or student fees:|
|Rutgers, Big East||$26,867,679|
|Connecticut, Big East||$14,578,029|
|South Florida, Big East||$14,185,037|
|Cincinnati, Big East||$13,457,464|
|Oregon State, Pac-10||$10,960,616|
|Arizona State, Pac-10||$10,349,536|
|Note: Amounts not adjusted for inflation
Sources: Individual schools, USA TODAY research in conjunction with Indiana University’s National Sports Journalism Center
A couple of months ago, I did a series of pieces on schools who were relying on student fees to balance their athletic department budget. You can find the Top 25 in the BCS for the 2009-2010 school year here. If you’re curious about a specific school, I posted the numbers for every BCS school by conference. You can find the SEC, Big Ten and Big 12 here, the ACC, Pac-10 and Big East here, and the non-AQ conferences here.
A number of you have pointed out that these student fees often get students free admission to athletic events. Although that’s a nice perk, I wonder what percentage of the student body actually takes advantage of this offer. To me, this is not the best argument in favor of student fees going to subsidize the athletic department.
That being said, I don’t necessarily have an issue with universities subsidizing the athletic department. After all, it is a part of the university. Just as the university funds the English department, they fund the athletic department. When an athletic department is able to support itself, like these we looked at a couple of weeks ago, that’s fantastic. However, I’m not convinced that every athletic department should be expected to do so. Athletic departments should be expected to operate as efficiently and profitably as possible while meeting the goals of the department and the university. What I don’t like to see are universities who are self-sustaining and still receive student fees or institutional support.
Athletics do a number of things for a university. They often receive national attention, which strengthens their brand. This causes increases in applications and licensing revenue, amongst other benefits. I’ve been researching this in-depth for my new book on the business of college football, and I can tell you that there are a number of advantages to a university having an athletic department. I don’t honestly believe that any university would be so fiscally irresponsible as to assist in funding an athletic department if they weren’t receiving a return on their investment, at least not when you look at a broad spectrum of years.
Just some food for thought until my book is out and I can share more concrete examples.
- College Football Playoff’s Bill Hancock Plays an Integral Role at Olympic Games - August 8, 2016
- Listen: Kristi Joins ‘The Brett Kane Show with Bock’ to Talk Big 12 Expansion - August 4, 2016
- Listen: Kristi Joins Tide 102.9 to Discuss Big 12 Expansion - August 3, 2016
- Listen: Kristi Joins ‘The Bill King Show’ to Talk Big 12 Expansion - August 2, 2016
- Listen: Kristi Joins ‘We’ve Never Been Clicked’ to Talk Biz of College Sports - August 2, 2016
- This Week in College Sports Biz: Campaigning for Big 12, Michigan’s Nike Era Begins and More - July 31, 2016
- This Week in College Sports Biz: ACC Network Announced, Big 12 Expansion Talk Renewed and More - July 24, 2016
- 1:1 Coaching at NACDA Convention - May 16, 2016
- Last Week in College Sports Biz: Big 12 Expansion, C-USA and Pac-12 Television Woes And More - May 16, 2016
- NACDA Young Professionals Cover Letter/Resume/Mock Interview Workshop - April 27, 2016