Richmond Times Dispatch Uses Knight Commission Database in Analysis

The Richmond Times Dispatch used the Knight Commission’s recently released spending database to analyze the academic and athletic spending patterns for the public universities in Virginia. The analysis found that “athletic spending for athletes has far outpaced academic spending for full-time students at Virginia Commonwealth University in recent years, while at the University of Virginia, the opposite has occurred.”

The article noted that the data “reflects elements of a Virginia Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission examination earlier this year of the use of mandatory student fees to pay for athletic programs. Part of JLARC’s review found that total athletic spending for state programs has increased $85.9 million in the past six years, with an average growth of 43 percent.”

The article also highlighted the differences in spending trends among the state’s two universities with football teams that compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision: “The Knight Commission’s report showed the University of Virginia to be the state’s clear leader in academic spending growth. Academic spending went from $14,940 in 2005 to $21,903 in 2011, an increase of 47 percent. Meantime, per-athlete athletic spending went up 17 percent, from $90,098 to $105,233.

“The state’s other Football Bowl Subdivision school, Virginia Tech, saw academic spending increase 10 percent in the study period, from $10,186 to $11,228, while per-athlete athletic spending went up 44 percent, from $77,407 to $111,379.”

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