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The Bottom Line: Accounting for Revenues and Expenditures in Intercollegiate Athletics

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We examined the profitability of Division I athletic programs at colleges and universities in the United States under a variety of accounting definitions of profit. The data identified several broad themes. First, a majority of athletic departments relied heavily on direct and indirect subsidization of their programs by the student body, the institution itself, and state governments in order to balance their books. Without such funding, less than one-third of Bowl Championship Series (BCS) athletic departments and none of the non-BCS departments were in the black. Second, athletic programs relied heavily on contributions to balance their books. Donations to athletic departments may serve as a substitute for donations to the rest of the university, lowering giving to other programs. Third, football and men's basketball programs were generally highly profitable at BCS schools; however, below this top tier, fewer than 10% of football programs and 15% of men's basketball programs showed a profit by any reasonable accounting measures. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]

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									International Journal of Sport Finance, 2012, 7, 30-45, © 2012 West Virginia University


The Bottom Line: Accounting for
Revenues and Expenditures in
Intercollegiate Athletics
Victor A. Matheson, Debra J. O’Connor, and Joseph H. Herberger
College of the Holy Cross
Victor A. Matheson is associate professor in the Department of Economics at the
College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. His research interests include
sports economics and the economics of lotteries and gaming.
Debra J. O'Connor is associate professor in the Department of Economics at the
College of
								
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