The NCAA News provided a status report on May 29, 2009, about the economic dashboard indicators created by the NCAA for college presidents and campus leaders to provide them with a financial profile of their intercollegiate athletics program in relation to peer groups. The dashboard indicators are a graphic comparison of the annual financial picture of the institution’s athletics program in about 30 categories. Presidents can compare their own institution’s financial data to sets of aggregate data from other like institutions (by conference, for example, or by public/private, FBS/FCS, etc.). Comparisons are made in the aggregate, thus keeping institutional data confidential.
The dashboard indicators were first unveiled last year as a result of recommendations from the Presidential Task Force; recommended improvements to the system this year include the addition of the Academic Progress Rate and total athletics expenditures to the “president’s view” page. New dashboard indicators include generated revenues over direct expenditures, and generated revenues plus student fees over total athletics expenditures. This year’s dashboards include revenue and expense data for the last four fiscal years (2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08).
The communication to presidents on the dashboard project also includes a link to an updated financial study of Football Bowl Subdivision athletics financing conducted by Jonathan Orzsag and Mark Israel and commissioned by the NCAA that indicates, among other findings, that spending on coaches’ salaries and scholarships has no significant relationship to success or increased revenue. The study also confirms earlier hypotheses (including a 2004 Knight Commission report from economist Robert Frank) that spending on athletics has no relationship to academic quality, and successful athletics teams do not prompt more alumni giving.