What does it cost an institution to run a Division II athletics program? Turns out whether or not you sponsor the sport of football makes a substantial difference. The new 2013 Division II Revenues and Expenses Report reveals the following facts about the 2011-12 fiscal year:
The median expenses for institutions sponsoring football in 2011-12 was $5.3 million. For institutions not sponsoring football, the median athletics expense was $4.0 million. The median generated revenues (those revenues that accrue from athletics directly) at football-playing institutions was $624,000. For those without football, the median was $314,000. Thus, the net expense (i.e., total expenses minus generated revenues) to the median football institution was approximately $4.5 million versus $3.6 million at non-football institutions.
From 2004-12, the median net expenses for football institutions increased from about $2.4 million to about $4.5 million. Over that same period, non-football institutions median net expense increased from $2.0 million to $3.5 million.
Another way to look at athletics expenses is as a proportion of total institutional expenses. For football-playing institutions, that number has increased from about 5 percent in 2004 to more than 7 percent in 2012. For institutions without football, it has gone from 4 percent to 5.5 percent. Overall, athletics spending has risen at a slightly faster pace than institutional spending over that time.
Division II institutions contemplating a move to the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) will likely be spending significantly more money as the median net expense was over $10 million in Division I FCS versus $4.5 million for Division II programs with football.
For more information, see the Division II Revenues and Expenses Report.