University Endowments vs Athletic Spending: Stanford reigns
Winthrop Intelligence looked at the correlation between a school’s overall endowment fund and the amount they spend on athletics each year and found some interesting results. While these two entities have little in common, it shows which schools are utilizing their resources in the best way given how much they invest in their athletic programs. This study does not incorporate wins and losses and the overall success of the athletic programs.
- Overall, the median athletic budget in 2010 Division 1-A was under $50 million, while the median endowment each university received was $500 million. The median budget-to-endowment percentage was 9%.
- Schools that had the smallest athletic spending as a percentage of endowment numbers across Division 1-A included the University of Texas at 1.75%, University of Virginia at 1.52%, University of Notre Dame at 1.2% and Stanford University at .49% among others.
- Universities that had a large athletic budget in comparison to their endowment support included Arkansas State at 29.01%, UNLV at 33.24%, and University of Louisiana-Monroe at 35.73% among others.
It has to be noted that many of the schools that had the smallest athletic spending as a percentage of endowment numbers are very large research universities were they receive an exorbitant amount in endowments and often have large athletic budgets as well. Smaller schools struggle with endowments, but still need sizable athletic budgets to compete with larger schools, which results in having to “use” more of those endowment funds. But looking at the other side of the coin, it shows that schools like Stanford and Northwestern are not letting their athletic budgets get out of control and spending their money wisely.
Athletic budgets is a touchy subject for many schools across the country as many athletic departments are not self-sustaining. So many athletic directors need to tread carefully in terms of how much money they devote to athletics.