College athletic departments run an average deficit of around $16 million, according to one sports economist
By Jo Craven McGinty of The Wall Street Journal. Excerpts:
"fewer than 10% of Division I athletic departments . . . generated enough revenue to cover the expenses of their sports programs."
"in 2019, just 68 of 351 Division I men’s basketball programs generated more revenue than expenses. And in 2016 . . . 73 of 252 Division I teams earned more than they spent."
"In 2019, athletic departments across all three NCAA divisions generated $10.6 billion in revenue from all sports and spent more than $18.9 billion. The two biggest costs were financial aid for athletes ($3.6 billion) and coaches’ compensation ($3.7 billion)."
"only 25 of the 351 Division I athletic departments that provided data to the NCAA for 2019 generated more revenue than they spent.
“The average deficit is around $16 million in the athletic departments,” said Andrew Zimbalist, a sports economist at Smith College.
All 25 moneymakers were part of the Football Bowl Subdivision, one of three Division I subcategories. FBS schools, such as the University of Alabama, participate in bowl games"
"The NCAA’s biggest source of income is March Madness, which produces 75% or more of the organization’s annual revenue, Mr. Fulks said. (The NCAA doesn’t control football broadcast rights.)"
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