More on Academic and Student Subsidizing of Intercollegiate Athletics

Writing for the Washington Post, Will Hobson and Steven Rich have provided a terrific investigative piece of the escalating practice of subsidizing intercollegiate athletics with student fees and monies previously allocated to academic programs:

“At Texas A&M University, the president’s proposal to charge all 50,000 students $72 a year to help pay for a $450 million football stadium renovation brought protests.

“At Clemson University, the athletic director’s idea to charge all 17,000 students $350 a year to help him keep up with competition brought pushback from student government.

“At the University of Kansas, a walk-on golfer’s push to eliminate a $50 fee all 17,000 students paid the increasingly wealthy athletic department brought a strong — and to some students, vindictive — response from administrators.

“And at many of America’s largest public universities, athletic departments making millions more every year from surging television contracts, luxury suite sales and endorsements continue to take money from tens of thousands of students who will never set foot in stadiums or arenas.

“Mandatory student fees for college athletic departments are common across the country. Often small line items of a couple hundred dollars on long, complex tuition bills, these fees make millions for athletic departments at larger colleges.

“In 2014, students at 32 schools paid a combined $125.5 million in athletic fees, according to a Washington Post examination of financial records at 52 public universities in the “Power Five,” the five wealthiest conferences in college sports. . . .”

Most of the rest of this substantial article is devoted to how students, faculty, and other allied groups are beginning to fight back against this misallocation of resources.

The complete article is available at:

The article includes this very telling chart; the three columns are athletics revenues generated by student fees, total revenue allocated to athletics, and per capita student fees allocated to athletics


Virginia $13.2 $70.5 $657
Maryland $11.3 $55.3 $406
Rutgers $10.3 $40.3 $326
Florida State $8.0 $96.8 $237
Virginia Tech $7.8 $65.0 $288
North Carolina $7.3 $76.5 $279
N.C. State $6.7 $63.8 $328
Utah $6.1 $46.6 $171
Georgia Tech $5.1 $61.4 $254
Auburn $4.4 $109.3 $192



2 thoughts on “More on Academic and Student Subsidizing of Intercollegiate Athletics

  1. Hello, I conducted a lot of research this summer and wrote a report on the activities of the University of Toronto as an urban developer, focusing on capital projects and the debts they cause. I wonder if American colleagues might like to have it available? If so I can send you the link to the small website where we posted it.
    – Mariana Valverde

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