Athletics in the academic marketplace


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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.

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Athletics in the academic marketplace

  1. 1. Athletics in the academicmarketplace:Using revenue theory of cost to comparetrends in athletic coaching salaries andinstructional salaries and tuitionScott Hirko, Ph.D., Central Michigan UniversityWelch Suggs, Ph.D., University of GeorgiaJeffrey Orleans, J.D., Alden & Associates
  2. 2. OutlineBackgroundConceptual FrameworkResearch QuestionVariablesMethods & AnalysisResultsConclusions
  3. 3. How much are you willing to pay for acollege education?
  4. 4. How much are you willing to pay forcollege sports? To what extent is itpart of a college education?
  5. 5. Conceptual FrameworkFinanceRevenue theory of cost (Bowen, 1980)Resource dependency theory (Pfeffer &Salancik, 1978; Suggs, 2009)IdentityCulture influencing decisions (Tierney,1991; Hirko, 2011)Athletics = identity (Duderstadt, 2003;Toma, 2003)
  6. 6. Research QuestionTo what extent are the costs ofintercollegiate athletic coaching salariestied to the academic marketplace?
  7. 7. VariablesCost of instruction (IPEDS) How much does it cost to meet the mission?Instructional salaries (IPEDS)Tuition, in-state undergraduate (IPEDS)Total athletic salaries (NCAA/USA Today)FB coaching salaries (NCAA/USA Today)Athletic expenses (NCAA/USA Today)
  8. 8. Methods Data collection: IPEDS, USA Today FOIA of NCAA Forms 172 total public schools in FBS/FCS. Academies, privates,Pennsylvania schools excluded Categorize State Flagship school Division (FBS/FCS) Bowl Championship Series AQ or non-AQ, half, thirds AQ/non-AQ AQ: Top half/bottom half expenses AQ: Top third/bottom third expenses Athletic conference Imputation for missing data (1.3%) Growth rates, Correlation, ANOVAs Ratio to cost of instruction ALL DATA REPORTED IN NOMINAL/REAL DOLLARS
  9. 9. CorrelationsVariable (Category) Cost ofInstTuition Athl CoachSalariesFootball Coaching Salaries (BCS AQ) .8469Football Coaching Salaries (BCS not AQ) .7727Football Coaching Salaries (FBS) .8455Football Coaching Salaries (FCS) .5445Athletic Coaching Salaries (Flagship schools) .4221Football Coaching Salaries (Flagship schools) .4544 .8624Football Coaching Salaries (Not Flagship schools) .6742Athletic Coaching Salaries (BCS AQ top third expenses) .4369Football Coaching Salaries (BCS AQ top third expenses) .5449 .8525Football Coaching Salaries (BCS AQ bottom two-third expenses) .8456Athletic Coaching Salaries (BCS AQ top half expenses) .4047Football Coaching Salaries (BCS AQ top half expenses) .8582Football Coaching Salaries (BCS AQ bottom half expenses) .8283There is LITTLE relationship between tuition, instructional salaries,cost of instruction and total athletic or FB coaching salaries
  10. 10. ANOVAsVariable and category SS df MS FTotal Athletic coaching salaries by AthleticConference21.0521864 168 .125310633 1.64*Total Athletic coaching salaries by BCS AQ 21.0521864 168 .125310633 7.48***Football coaching salaries by AthleticConference41.2457321 168 .24551031 1.85*Football coaching salaries by BCS AQ 41.2457321 168 .24551031 9.87***Football coaching salaries by Division 41.2457321 168 .24551031 6.17*Football coaching salaries by Flagship 41.2457321 168 .24551031 6.05*Cost of instruction by Athletic Conference 10.3090236 168 .061363236 1.73****p<.001, ** p<.01, * p<.05There is SIGINFICANT PREDICTABILITY between category andcoaching salaries, ESPECIALLY BCS-AQ status
  11. 11. Conclusions1. Tuition is up, faculty salaries are flat, andathletics salaries keep rising2. BCS AQ schools = big athletic salaries3. Non BCS AQ schools athletics spending bigmoney but cannot keep up4. FCS schools = athletics salaries lessexpensive, but expenses growing with lessresources than FBS5. Top half of BCS AQ is leading the spendingbinge
  12. 12. Recommendations1. What is the purpose for athletics? Lookat differences in athl-acad marketplaces2. Zero-sum game & marketplace: Payingmore $ for coaches does not guaranteesuccess3. Presidents create a coalition to decideon value of salaries4. State legislators keep an eye on athleticsspending
  13. 13. Limitations/Future Research1. Cost of instruction vs. E&R, E&G2. HBCUs?3. Salaries vs third-party compensation4. Looked at most recent conferenceaffiliation instead of switches5. Switching conferences may be its ownclassification: impact of switch onsalaries/financial burden
  14. 14. Contact usTHANKS TO USA TODAYScott Hirko, Central Michigan University,Welch Suggs, University of Georgia,Jeffrey H. Orleans, Alden & Associates,