The Real Cost of March Madness

By Ben Steverman, with Eben Novy-Williams and Seth Magalaner - 2012-03-21T23:12:14Z

Photograph by Chris Chambers/Getty Images

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Subsidies by Students

While many Division I men's basketball and football teams make a profit, students still wind up subsidizing the overall costs of big-time athletic programs. In 2010, 46 of 53 public universities surveyed by Bloomberg diverted money to fund sports programs. School subsidies and student fees made up 21 percent of the $6.3 billion in athletic revenue at the NCAA's 120 largest programs. That was the largest share since 2004.

Rutgers University subsidized sports the most, at $26.9 million in fiscal 2010. The seven sports programs that didn't rely on other funding included that of the University of Texas at Austin.