The Journal of SPORT


College athletics is a major business in the United States. Collegiate sports teams generate billions of dollars in revenues, but they also incur billions of dollars in costs, and for the vast majority of athletic teams, revenues do not cover costs. When athletic programs do not cover their costs, the institutional budget must fund these expenses. In this paper, we demonstrate that an institution’s athletic subsidy per student is dependent on the institution’s number of students. Further, we find that institutions where the athletic subsidy per student is high enroll a disproportionate share of students who are economically disadvantaged and less qualified academically.

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