Thursday, January 14, 2010

jack's back ...

... with a hard-hitting investigation of collegiate spending on sports in USA Today. The story (plus sidebars) was based on a detailed analysis of four years of financial information from university athletic departments.

Here's a taste:

More than $800 million in student fees and university subsidies are propping up athletic programs at the nation's top sports colleges, including hundreds of millions in the richest conferences, a USA TODAY analysis found.

The subsidies have reached that level amid a continuing crisis in higher education funding. At some of the schools where athletics is most heavily subsidized, faculty salaries have dipped, state-funded financial aid is drying up and students are bracing for tuition and fee increases.

Taken together, the subsidies for athletics at 99 public schools in the NCAA's 120-member Football Bowl Subdivision grew about 20% in four years, from $685 million in 2005 to $826 million in 2008, after adjusting for inflation. At more than a third of those schools, the percentage of athletic department revenue coming from subsidies grew during the four-year period studied.

Congrats to Jack: Disturbing story. Great work. Often the two go hand in hand. bk

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