Knight Foundation founded the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics in 1989 to recommend reforms in college sports that emphasized academic values. Amy Perko has been executive director of the commission since 2005. Photo credit: Flickr user Daniel X. O'Neil.
Today we’re releasing our “Athletic and Academic Spending Database for NCAA Division I” to improve the understanding of the trends in athletic spending relative to spending on academics.
The online tool is a follow-up to our 2010 report, “Restoring the Balance: Dollars, Values and the Future of College Sports,” which called for greater public transparency in athletic finances and incentives to encourage responsible spending. The report warned that spending trends in major college sports were unsustainable for most Division I colleges and universities.
The database offers users unprecedented access to academic, athletic and football spending data for more than 220 public Division I institutions. It draws on data provided by each institution in various public reports, such as NCAA financial reports and the federal government's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). The database allows users to compare trends and search data by institution, athletic conference and Division I subdivision.
The information also provides an overview of trends in institutional funding for athletics allocated from student fees and other institutional sources. As noted in a recent report by Moody’s Investors Service, “90 [percent] of athletics programs are not self-sustaining, requiring growing subsidies, which divert funding away from other university operations.” The database allows users to examine resource allocation patterns for each Division I public university from 2005 to 2011. (We plan to update the information when 2012 data is available through IPEDS next year.)