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NCAA report shows many college programs in the red

If college football is treated as a big time business, then business is bad right now.

A recent NCAA report done by professor Dan Fulks of Transylvania University in Kentucky shows that only 14 of the 120 FBS schools profited from campus athletics during the 2009 fiscal year.

While the NCAA does not release individual numbers for each school, you can probably take a wild guess as to which ones profited. Ohio State, Tennessee, Texas, Florida, Alabama and Missouri were just some of the schools confirmed to have made money with their athletic programs.

Maybe not surprisingly, sixty-eight universities reported a profit in football. An even more telling statistic was that all 97 non-football schools reported an average loss of nearly $3 million.

If over half of FBS schools are seeing success in what is, far and away, the most profitable sport, how are so many reporting a loss?

NCAA interim president Jim Isch says the low numbers are not a result of a sagging national economy like many believe. On the contrary, Isch believes the numbers are an indication of runaway spending by collegiate athletic programs who did not plan for a long-term recession.

“The top end … still does not have to rely on institutional subsidies,” Isch said. “But those that do are falling further behind.”

Fulks noted that many schools take profits from football and men’s basketball (two of the most profitable sports for universities) and spread them into lower-profile sports that that make little to no money. This results in larger subsidies from universities, which currently averages nationally at $10 million per year.

Consequently, more athletic programs could be cut in the very near future. Sorry, men’s tennis fan(s), but you can’t blame this one on Title IX anymore. 

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12 Responses to “NCAA report shows many college programs in the red”
  1. myopinionisrighterthanyours says: Aug 25, 2010 10:21 PM

    Consequently, more athletic programs could be cut in the very near future. Sorry, men’s tennis fan(s), but you can’t blame this one on Title IX anymore.
    Actually, yes you still can (at least in part). Come on Ben, you KNOW that it has something to do with it, no matter how inept some schools AD’s are (both director and department in some [many] cases).

  2. edgy1957 says: Aug 25, 2010 11:21 PM

    1. myopinionisrighterthanyours says:
    Actually, yes you still can (at least in part). Come
    Baloney! What most of you guys don’t realize is that Title IX applies to those who receive federal funds and schools that don’t get them don’t have to comply with Title IX (Bet you didn’t know that, did you?). What most Title IX opponents don’t want to acknowledge is that they gave opportunities to women that they didn’t get before and it leveled the playing field (pun intended) for them. Before Title IX, you didn’t see many females participating in sports because the university wouldn’t fund their teams but they would fund revenue losing teams for men (Take away Title IX and these very same universities would still be losing money but it would be with 90% male sports instead of the 50-50 that it is today). Title IX has meant NOTHING in the way of how much money that a university has lost money because outside of football and men’s basketball, most teams, male or female, don’t make money.

  3. Cubano says: Aug 26, 2010 8:42 AM

    @ myopinionisrighterthanyours & edgy1957
    Will the two of you please take your pillow fight back to the nerdatorium!!!!

  4. Ben Kercheval says: Aug 26, 2010 9:18 AM

    @edgy: but his opinion is righter than ours…

  5. myopinionisrighterthanyours says: Aug 26, 2010 10:04 AM

    Look, I’m not saying Title IX doesn’t have it’s purposes. I realize female athletes would have ZERO chance without it. And that there would be almost no scholarship opportunities for them. But don’t foo-foo it away as part of the cause, because it is. Those sports do not make ANY money and rely on men’s football and basketball to support them.

  6. edgy1957 says: Aug 26, 2010 12:07 PM

    myopinionisrighterthanyours says:
    Look, I’m not saying Title IX doesn’t have it’s purposes.
    It still wouldn’t matter. Kill Title IX today and those schools would lose AS MUCH money as they do now. Hell, at Connecticut and Tennessee, the women’s basketball teams bring in more revenue than any of the men’s teams except football and basketball. Only two sports, at most schools, make any money and that was true, even before Title IX. Heck, at my high school, the men’s basketball team was so bad that if you got 50 people to show up for their games, it was a modern miracle but the women’s games were filled to the rafters and that’s when they played 6 on 6 and not 5 on 5. Try telling the superintendent that you wanted to kill the women’s team so that you could spend more money on the men and he’d have laughed his ass off at you. MEN use the excuse of Title IX but all that it did was level the playing field, it did NOT add to the bottom line because they were losing just as much money as the women.

  7. fatediesel says: Aug 26, 2010 12:33 PM

    You’re seriously using the 2 top womens’s teams and high school teams as your examples? Nobody is suggesting Tennessee kill it’s women’s basketball team, they’re suggesting they kill their women’s tennis team that has (hypothetically) $500,000 in expenses and $500 in revenue. It’s unfair that women get so many more sports just because the football team gives so many scholarships and with the exception of some basketball teams none even bring in revenue equal to 1% of their budget. Schools have way too many sports (mens and womens) that bring in no money. Change it so if your sport can’t at least partially support itself then it dies. Schools don’t need teams that have no interest from the local or student body.

  8. edgy1957 says: Aug 26, 2010 1:20 PM

    fatediesel says:
    You’re seriously using the 2 top womens’s teams
    Wow, you just don’t get it. I just brought them up as an example of the fact that not all women’s teams lose money just as not all men’s teams make money.
    Schools have been funding sports that the locals haven’t been interested in LONG before Title IX and if you want to say that’s not true then you need to ask someone who knows a lot more than you. Hell, college football and basketball weren’t as profitable as they are NOW because they didn’t have the TV revenue that they do now and THAT’S A FACT. Before ESPN and the other outlets and the Internet, college sports found itself on a couple of networks for very little money and very little exposure. I can guarantee you that in my younger days that they didn’t have 10 or more games of college football on a Saturday like they do now and they had one or two college basketball games on most Saturdays, as well. Now, you’ve got college football teams playing all over the dial and on Thursday through Saturday, with an occasional Sunday, Monday or Wednesday game and college basketball has expanded as well.
    The losses seemed less back then because the money coming in was less and the money going out was less but in proportion, it was just as bad. Male sports were losing just as much then as they do now and all that Title IX did was spread the losses out to a different gender.

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