State Auditor releases analysis of NCAA athletics revenue subsidization for Utah’s degree-granting public colleges and universities

The Office of the State Auditor (Office) today released its Analysis Report on NCAA Athletics Revenue Subsidization for Utah’s Degree-Granting Public Colleges and Universities. This report covers fiscal years ended June 30, 2012 through June 30, 2020.

As part of this review, the Office examined the revenues generated directly from NCAA athletic activities as reported by Utah’s eight public degree-granting colleges and universities for fiscal years 2012 through 2020.  These were compared against revenues from outside the athletic program (non-athletic), such as student fees, tuition waivers, and state and institutional support. The amount of subsidy is reported as total, percent, and per-student subsidies provided to athletics at each institution. 

The total subsidy provided to athletics at these eight institutions for FY 2020 is over $87 million, or 43.2% of the athletics revenues.  The subsidy ranged from over $23 million annually at Utah State University, up from just under $13 million in FY 2012, to approximately $1.8 million at Snow College.  The University of Utah subsidy totaled nearly $13 million in FY 2020, up from almost $10 million in FY 2012. 

The analysis also highlights the dramatic differences in per-student subsidization by these institutions. Salt Lake Community College had the lowest per FTE student subsidy at $211, while Southern Utah University had the highest per FTE student subsidy at almost $1,530. All institutions saw increases over the FY 2012 levels of subsidization.

State Auditor John Dougall commented, “With the many concerns regarding the cost of college, we recommend students, stakeholders, and policymakers review this information and consider the impact these subsidies have on college affordability and the ‘college experience.’”