This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Financial Trends in Intercollegiate Athletics Mirror Financial Trends in Higher Education




Hill, Leon (Bernard)

Type of Degree



Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology


This study compared the financial trends that occurred in intercollegiate athletics with the financial trends that occurred at institutions of higher education. The study focused on the 86 public institutions in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and an analysis of the data was conducted for fiscal years 2006–2012. The study identified four specific areas in athletics and four specific areas at the institution of higher education that were similarly situated for the purpose of comparing financial trends. The areas compared for the purpose of this research were ticket sales (athletics) and tuition (institution), media rights and licensing (athletics) with grants and contracts (institution), contributions (athletics) and gifts (institution), and subsidies (athletics) and state appropriations (institution). The research also examined financial trends within the FBS by comparing the institutions in the five power conferences — Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), BIG Ten, Big 12, Pacific 12 (PAC 12), Southeastern Conference (SEC) — with the remaining conferences and member institutions within the FBS. The data were gathered by reviewing public information, and the analysis of the data were performed by utilizing a within subjects ANOVA to compare financial trends in intercollegiate athletics with financial trends of institutions in higher education.