Athletics Spending Outpaces Academic Spending in NCAA Schools, Including UNC, NC State

The Raleigh News and Observer and Charlotte Observer published an article that used the Knight Commission Academic and Athletic Spending Database to examine spending patterns among public institutions in North Carolina. The article quotes Knight Commission executive director Amy Perko who commented on the general patterns seen across most Division I public universities:

“A clear pattern does emerge, and that is the pattern that athletic spending is rising rapidly while academic spending is stagnating,” said Amy Perko, executive director of the Knight Commission.

The article highlights that “the Knight Commission numbers come at a time when higher education is under increasing scrutiny for rising tuition and sometimes low productivity. The database provides a rare view of athletic spending at more than 220 Division I public universities. It was compiled from several sources, including NCAA financial reports available through USA Today and academic spending comparisons in the Delta Cost Project at the nonprofit American Institutes for Research.”

The article notes that UNC Charlotte Chancellor Phil Dubois “leads a UNC system task force on athletic finance transparency, which is expected to release recommendations in February.

The group will likely propose that chancellors and trustee boards use the Knight Commission database as one source in their assessment of athletic spending.”

Dubois is quoted:

“ ‘I don’t think it’s a bad thing to have a good, open and healthy conversation about spending on athletics,’ he said.
But, he pointed out, spending on athletics is generally less than 5 percent of institutional budgets.”