Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Great Article on College Sports Revenue

(As always, click on the title of this post to be taken to the story.)

One argument that always gets my goat is this: "College football players are exploited; they create tremendous revenue and all it does is make the fat cats at their school rich." While it is true that college football players create a lot of revenue and don't get it back in return (although tuition, room and board, and a stipend isn't nothing,) the people that are actually exploiting them are non-revenue athletes, especially female athletes. Women's softball players aren't the archetypical exploiter of labor, though, so most leftist college football critics miss this point.

Take Georgia, for example. The football program generates $42,104,214 against $8,780,360 in expenses. The revenue generated by football constitutes over 90% of the athletic department's revenue. The women's programs lose almost $7M per year. The remaining football profits, I would presume, go to cover expenses from non-revenue male sports and athletic department overhead.

Just so we're clear, I'm in favor of Title IX and I think it's great that non-revenue sports are treated so well. I just wish that college football would get credit for making that possible, rather than being criticized as some sort of illustration of Das Kapital.

I would be interested to see how the accounting works on these numbers. For instance, the licensing fees that Georgia gets for merchandising; are those broken up based on the sport being merchandised at all or is it a flat fee in the overall revenue figure? Also, these numbers are at odds with the position of some that college football is a loser proposition economically. If temple is breaking even and Tulsa is making over $3M in profits, then it can't be that hard or uncommon.

1 comment:

peacedog said...

Well, I think merchandising funnels through the SEC, but I could be mistaken. I wonder how much of AD generated revenue funnels into other aspects of the university life.

And I'm with you - hoorah for Title IX but it's only feasible thanks to Football.