March 31, 2006

Athletic departments at State schools are not profitable: Via Sports Law Blog, a summary of a new study by Mark Alesia of the Indianapolis Star:

athletic departments at taxpayer-funded universities nationwide receive more than $1 billion in student fees and general school funds and services, and that without such outside funding, fewer than 10 percent of athletic departments would have been able to support themselves with ticket sales, television contracts and other revenue-generating sports sources. In fact, most would have lost more than $5 million.
Alesia has also compiled a database of NCAA financial reports, for all you frustrated economists out there.

posted by Amateur to general at 11:33 AM - 12 comments

Wow. I'm not even going to pretend that I understand any of this. I just saw "frustrated economists" and decided to check it out. Even if you could explain it in laymen's terms, I still wouldn't be able to grasp it.

posted by wingnut4life at 12:00 PM on March 31, 2006

This is funny, because many supporters of universities developing new football teams will cite profits from schools like UF, which makes $27,000,000 off of its football team. They fail to mention the losses that UF incurs from its other sports (excluding basketball) total about $11,000,000. That cuts into a huge chunk of their profit, and this is with a highly successful athletic program. Imagine how bad off a budding lower Division team could be if it capitulates to pressure, build a football program and loses its ass off.

posted by RScannix at 01:34 PM on March 31, 2006

Now I know what they mean when they call these college players ''amateurs''. That is why these coaches are getting multi-million dollar contracts. Just pay the athletes to represent the schools and not worry about them being ''student athletes''. College football and basketball are nothing more than minor leagues for the pros. What a crock.

posted by joromu at 01:47 PM on March 31, 2006

unlv univ.of nev. las vegas. is an exeption,basketball and football have to make money,the athletic director football coach and basketball coach combined are paid in excess of 1.5 million a year

posted by arturo at 02:51 PM on March 31, 2006

University athletic programs do not want to make a profit. If they had a bunch of extra money, they would be expected to contribute it to the university. Instead of making a profit, they have lavish facilities, they pay for all the athletic programs that make no money, have tons of staff, etc.

posted by bperk at 02:53 PM on March 31, 2006

If I was a US taxpayer with children at a state university, I would be up in arms.

posted by owlhouse at 02:59 PM on March 31, 2006

THANK YOU FOR POSTING THIS ARTICLE. I MENTIONED THIS ONCE BEFORE AND I HAD TO REFER FILTER FRIENDS TO BOOKS FOR THESE TYPE OF STATS. This is very easy to see. Nice Post. NCAA is a ripoff for the taxpayer and the students. I love the sports also. Its too bad that pro sports have to depend on colleges, to a great extent, to find players for various sport (not all sports). I think the NBA, and NFL especially if want to draft college players should pay major premiums to the colleges to help fund what provides them with their talent(for the most part) and future profits. MLB has a neat system with the Minors I think other sports should get on board. College is for learning not paying athletic department bills which the brunt lies on the taxpayer and students.

posted by T$PORT4lawschool at 06:02 PM on March 31, 2006

Unlike RScannix, I don't consider the 11 million dollars spent by the UF on its non-revenue sports to be a "loss". Thankfully, the very profitable football program funds a very good overall program, including one of the best women's programs in the country. I'll look at the study, but one question comes to mind. Withoout the student fees and general school funds and services, would the schools be able to fund their non-revenue producing sports programs and comply with Title IX? I'll bet that the football programs at most state supported schools, taken by themselves, would be profitable without the student fees, etc., but it's not all about football, folks.

posted by darthgatorone at 06:40 PM on March 31, 2006

WOW! Please consider Temple University, which I attended. Poor temple Except for the Men's and ladies BBall teams, they just cannot compete.I am sure that the BBall team makes $$$, but their Football team must LOSE millions! They also had to give up their Baseball team, which had a rich winning tradition.

posted by Yankeetogo at 04:48 PM on April 01, 2006

There was an article about a month ago in one of my local papers about one of the Kentucky schools (I can't remember which one) raising the per student athletic department fee. Unfortunately that paper requires a paid membership to view articles online so I couldn't post it. The fee at that school was $25 per student, which doesn't seem like much when you look at George Mason ($346). It just doesn't seem fair to me for all of the students to be paying these fees. Especially if the athletic departments are just developement programs for the NBA and NFL. Pehaps the major league teams that draft students right out of college should have to pay some kind of fee to help bring the cost of tuition down or to help fund the academic programs. After all, I thought college was supposed to be about higher education.

posted by njsk8r20 at 06:41 PM on April 01, 2006

After all, I thought college was supposed to be about higher education. It was my first time around. Hence, i'm back in college at 41 yrs of age to finish 2 degrees that got "rolled" up and smoked some 23 years ago. sad sac i am!

posted by Folkways at 09:34 AM on April 02, 2006

The sports that cost a ton of money are also the big money makers. Football is expensive, but if your team is successful, you can make a ton of money. Women's tennis is never going to bring in money, and fees go to this sport as well. Anyway, student fees go to all sorts of overall educational expenses that are distributed to everyone. For instance, why should an English major have to pay higher tuition to subsidize the chemistry department? Law schools at universities are big money makers that are used to subsidize medical schools, which are not. How do you decide what does and does not contribute to the overall educational experience.

posted by bperk at 10:11 AM on April 02, 2006

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