Only 22 Of 120 Division I Athletic Programs Made Money Last Year

Utah Utes University College Football

Photo: Flickr/Brenton Walker

Of the 120 athletic departments in Division I-A (sorry, the Football Bowl Subdivision) just 22 were self-sufficient last year.That’s actually actually an improvement from 2009, when only 14 schools turned a “profit.”

That figure comes from the NCAA’s newest annual report of revenues and expense for Division I sports.

The average “surplus” between sports revenue and operating expenses for those 22 schools is about $7.4 million a year.

Meanwhile, the median loss for the remaining 98 program is $11.3 million. That difference must be made up by the institution they belong to.

Naturally, football is by far the biggest factor, generating 45 per cent of all revenue, which then must pay for the rest of the athletic teams. However, nearly 51 football programs in the FBS (43%) fail to turn a profit.

Other quick facts:

  • 58% of football programs and 56% of men’s basketball programs are self-sufficient. Only 1 women’s basketball program is.
  • The two biggest drivers of athletic revenue are ticket sales and alumni donations.
  • The two biggest expenses are scholarships and employee salaries. Those two items alone make up more than 50% of all expenses.
  • The median athletic expense per student athlete is $90,000. At a school in the FCS (the old I-AA), it’s $33,000.

There’s a lot of raw data, but you can read the full report here. Or check out the NCAA’s summary here.

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