The NCAA released a report providing summary information concerning revenues and expenses of NCAA Division I athletics programs for the fiscal years 2004 through 2010, the result of surveys conducted during the fall of each of those years.

Although similar studies have been conducted for the NCAA since 1969, significant changes in data collection and reporting render those reports non-comparable to those of 2004 and beyond.

Following are general “global” findings and observations for the seven-year period.

  • There was an upward movement in generated revenues for median FBS and FCS institutions but downward trends in the other subdivision from 2009 to 2010 — FBS = 9.5 percent increase; FCS = 14.0 percent increase; DI w/o FB = 5.1 percent decrease.
  • Total expenses for the last year increased at a slower rate than generated revenues for both FBS and FCS institutions. FBS median revenues increased 1.7 percent from the prior year, and the increase was 8.9 percent at the FCS level.
  • A related observation is the portions of total revenues that are allocated by the institutions — 20 percent in the FBS; 71 percent in the FCS; 76 percent in DI w/o FB. This rate decreased among FCS institutions, and stayed steady in the other two divisions.
  • Of particular interest are the growth rates in total expenses after removal of the inflationary effect — one percent increase in the FBS; eight percent decrease in the FCS; nine percent increase in DI w/o FB.
  • The increase gap, which measures the difference in growth rates of athletic spending and overall institutional spending remains very small in all three subdivisions over the two year period — and is essentially zero at the FBS level.
  • A total of 22 athletics programs in the FBS reported positive net revenues for the 2010 fiscal year, which represents an increase from the 14 reported in 2009. The gap between the “profitable” programs and the remainder continued to grow, however a bit more slowly.
  • Three revenue sources account for between 60 and 75 percent of total generated revenues, depending on subdivision.
  • Similarly, in all subdivisions, two expense line items, grants-in-aid and salaries and benefits, account for approximately 50 percent of total expenses.
  • In all subdivisions, the number of participating athletes remains fairly constant, while the expense per athlete continues to increase, as a result of rising expenses.
  • In all three subdivisions, total athletic expenditures as a percentage of total institutional expenditures have remained constant at approximately five percent for several years. More importantly, if net deficits, rather than total expenses are examined, the percentage drops to the neighborhood of one percent in the FBS and four percent in the other two subdivisions.

To view the complete report, click here.

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