Here are some mind-blowing numbers that I have no idea what to do with. Jeff Tracy over at Axios dug through the school budgets of the Sweet 16-qualifying men’s basketball schools and figured out how much each institution puts into their athletic programs as well as what percentage of those dolla dolla bills go to the men’s b-ball teams.
Out of the 16 schools, half of them spend more than $100 MILLION annually on their sports programs. 10 of them spent more than $10 million on just their men’s basketball program in 2019. Not gonna lie, guys, I don’t understand how a school spends that much money on a program when there are students from that very same school who will be deep in debt for the next 20 years of their life. Yes, I get that athletic funding can come from alumni donations, ticket sales, and merchandise, so that there is a circular effect. But…damn.
Take top spender Florida State, for example. The precise total expenditure for their athletic programs is $198,407,201. The university lists 28,898 enrolled students. If you do that math, it averages out to $6,866 spent on sports per enrolled student – not per student athlete. FSU reported that 501 students participated in varsity athletics, which changes our math to $396,022 per athlete. Compare that to a US News analysis that says the average indebtedness of a 2019 Florida State graduate was $25,013. Again, I don’t know what to do with this information. It just feels wrong.
Disclaimer: I know/care very, very little about almost all the types of sports ball.