The Journal of SPORT


Athletic department expenditures within National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I athletics are in many cases growing faster than the general university budget. Universities are spending millions on athletics, specifically in the sports of men‘s basketball and football, to achieve athletic success and to generate marketing exposure for the university. Typical spending comes in upgrading facilities and luxuries oftentimes justified to enhance winning, revenue generation, overall university exposure, enrollment, and fundraising. For this study, athletic and university success is defined as significant gains in these five aforementioned areas. The purpose of this study is to examine the effect increased expenditures have had on ―mid-major‖ athletic programs (specifically those who are not affiliated with the College Football Bowl Championship Series) such as the Mid-American Conference (MAC) to see if those increases influence a positive or negative outcome on athletic and/or university success. The researchers found, in the case of the Mid-American Conference, that increased expenditures do not significantly increase athletic and or university success and often results in reductions in other sports programs and increases in institutional subsidies to cover increasing expenses. In addition, the researchers present potential areas of savings which might enable intercollegiate athletic programs to keep athletic programs rather than eliminating or reducing them to meet Title IX gender equity requirements or financial contingencies.