NCAA analysis of college sports expenditures

Prelim report released — NCAA RELEASES INTERIM REPORT ON THE EFFECTS OF SPENDING IN INTERCOLLEGIATE ATHLETICS. The most interesting points I saw, not mentioned in the press release, have to do with the increasing inequality of spending:

  • A common measure of inequality is the Gini coefficient, which would equal one if one school accounted for all spending and zero if spending were the same across schools. Increases in the Gini coefficient represent increased levels of inequality and vice versa.
  • Between 1993 and 2001, the Gini coefficient for Division I-A football spending rose from 0.26 to 0.29. To put that increase in perspective, it is approximately equal to the increase in income inequality in the United States during the 1980s. The Gini coefficient for Division I-A basketball spending rose even more sharply, from 0.26 to 0.31.
  • Inequality also increased among top-spending schools. The Gini coefficient for football spending among schools in the top 25 percent of the spending distribution, for example, rose from 0.08 in 1993 to 0.11 in 2001.
  • We conclude that the football and basketball markets exhibited increased levels of inequality between 1993 and 2001.