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NCAA’s Top Division Produced 20 Profitable Athletic Programs

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Aug. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Fewer of the biggest college athletic programs made money in 2013 than the previous two years, according to the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Twenty Football Bowl Subdivision programs reported profit last year, down from 23 in 2011 and 2012, according to the NCAA Revenues and Expenses Division I Intercollegiate Athletics Programs Report, which covers fiscal years 2004-13. There were 128 schools in the FBS this year.

The report didn’t specify which athletic programs made or lost money.

The median net generated revenue for the profitable programs was about $8.5 million last year, while the median net deficit for the money-losing programs was about $14.9 million, the report said.

The largest generated revenue of $169.6 million, when compared to the median generated revenue of $41.9 million is “indicative of the disparity in the FBS,” the report said.

Revenue for men’s programs increased by 4.6 percent from 2012, while revenue from women’s programs fell 6.6 percent.

The NCAA, the governing body for college sports, this month granted autonomy to its five richest conferences: the Atlantic Coast, Pacific-12, Big Ten, Big 12 and Southeastern, and Notre Dame. The move allows the schools in those conferences to make their own rules in key areas, including financial aid and insurance.

For instance, the University of Maryland, which is a member of the Big Ten, yesterday said it would provide athletes in all sports a scholarship guarantee. Should a student exhaust his or her athletic eligibility before graduating, Maryland will guarantee that person’s aid through graduation.

The NCAA this month said it would appeal a federal court ruling that allows student-athletes to seek a share of broadcast revenue.

The report was compiled by Daniel L. Fulks, the accounting program director at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky.

To contact the reporter on this story: Scott Soshnick in New York at ssoshnick@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net Dex McLuskey

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