Report: Few Collegiate Programs Pay Their Own Way

Article excerpt

On average, collegiate athletic department revenue has increased faster than expenses, but few programs are self-supporting, according to a National Collegiate Athletic Association report released Wednesday.

The report also found large disparities in financing for men's and women's programs.

Division I-A football programs were the moneymakers and supported other sports at their schools; Division I-AA schools attempting to field football teams took the biggest financial losses, the survey said.

Among Division I-A schools, athletic departments on average made a profit of $660,000 for their fiscal 1993 year, the report said. But once support from a school's general fund is removed, athletic departments operated at an average $174,000 loss, it said.

The report was based on a voluntary survey mailed to all NCAA members in Division I-A, Division I-AA, Division II and Division III.

The survey got a 55 percent response rate, said Daniel L. Fulks, with the School of Accountancy at the University of Kentucky.

"In general, average revenues for each of our divisions have increased since 1989," Fulks said. "Expenses have also gone up, but not as much."

Fulks cautioned that accounting practices vary at institutions and that it was difficult to assemble the numbers. Such costs as academic support, housing, training table and equipment costs may be accounted for differently, he said.

He also noted that Division I-A schools - the college powerhouses - responded in greater numbers than did smaller NCAA members.

About two-thirds of the football and basketball programs in Division I-A showed a profit, according to the study. In all other divisions, few sports generated a profit.

Since 1989, the number of Division I-A schools showing a profit has risen to 72 percent from 55 percent, the survey said. …