NCAA Sports is a business . . . here are the numbers

NCAA Financial Reports

Indy Stars NCAA Financial Reports

analysis after the jump . . .

What this shows . . .

Football is a major loser at all but 22 schools (even though marginally more show a profit on the football line).

The explanation is here:

Among schools that report revenue in excess of expenses, they report that only 29% of that revenue is actually GENERATED income from sports related activities, i.e. tickets, TV revenues, concessions -- . the rest is from fund raising from alumni, institutional support (i.e. a check from the University itself), and other sources. You can ask an alumn to give money and allocate it anywhere you want. Likewise, schools build and maintain stadiums and call it "Capital Expense."

The Indy Star shows that almost all alumni donations are claimed for football by FBS schools, hardly credible considering donations to non-FBS schools. also, looking at the Indy Star report, many expenses are omitted. for example, NONE of the public schools include the costs for building and maintaining the multi-million dollar football stadiums. Stanford's $200 million remodel of their stadium, which forced across the board cuts in the athletic program, isn't even included in their sports budget. they call it a Capital Expense.

What you have to look at is bottom line. the fact is that almost all FBS programs lose money (page 6), if you look at Table 2.5 and 2.6 , which report median GENERATED revenues and expenses for all schools by classification. FBS schools, which have the greatest football involvement, have a median net loss of $11.352 Million dollars a year. FCS schools, which play 1AA football, show a median net loss in their programs of $9.802 million. The schools that have no football at all (sometimes called 1AAA schools) $9.593 million, this even though their overall revenues are many times smaller than the FBS schools.

Ultimately, the pattern is clear: the less your involvement you have in football, the less debt you have in your sports program. Football gives you big finances, and gives you even bigger debt. When you see figures like that, its pretty hard to support the idea that sports would not be possible for schools without football. When i see people smuggly talk about "revenue sports," I wonder if they have any idea what that means in accounting terms. they churn revenue, but they don't produce income. If they did, they would be called "Income Sports."

This explanation comes largely from a poster known as Cliveworshipper on (and is here with permission).

No wonder college presidents are falling over themselves for a little more TV revenue . . .

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