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This study reviewed publicly available institutional financial and participation reports at the highest level of athletic competition, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I. Institutions were grouped by NCAA subdivision status, athletic conference, flagship status, football Bowl Championship Series automatic qualifying status, and several athletic expenses categories. Growth rates between 2005 and 2011 were compared in instructional salaries, tuition rates, athletic coaching salaries, and costs of instruction. Revenue theory of cost and resource dependency theory related these costs within the context of institutional identity to explicate the marketplace of athletics compared to academics in higher education. Descriptive statistics, correlations, ANOVAs, and visual representations were used to analyze the data. The study found the growth rate of total athletic coaching salaries and football coaching salaries far exceeded the corresponding growth rate for instructional salaries at a significant level in all groupings of major college sports.