Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Financing intercollegiate athletics has become an ever present issue with the colleges and universities of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Inflation and other factors have driven the cost of running a college sports program to alarmingly high levels. The literature is full of expressions of concern about the financial future of intercollegiate athletic competition. This study investigated trends in financing intercollegiate athletics among the 10 Southeastern Conference Universities. A two-part survey questionnaire was completed, one part by the athletic director and one by the business manager at each of these institutions. Revenues and expenditures for the fiscal years 1969-1970 through 1978-1979 were recorded, projections for 1979-1980 through 1983-1984 were made utilizing regression analysis, and the opinions of the SEC Athletic Directors were registered concerning financial issues. Revenue and expenditure relationships were analyzed. The findings of this investigation reveal a substantial number of negatiive balances among the actual and projected revenues and expenditures. Only two of the SEC schools had revenues greater than expenditures in every year included in the investigation. Football was the sport which supplied the greatest amount of revenue. Among revenues listed by source ticket sales was the major producer of funds. A trend toward raising money through contributions and donations was indicated by the substantial increases in revenue derived from these sources. Salaries and wages constituted the greatest expenditure item at the end of the period of investigation. Additional major expense categories were: other expenses, grant costs, travel, equipment and maintenance. In the sports categories spending for football was the highest. Inflation and the cost of adding sports to the program were major concerns among Southeastern Conference Athletic Directors. The athletic administrators endorsed more plans to increase revenues than reduce expenditures. The majority of the directors favored abolishing scholarships in non-revenue sports while the major thrust for increased revenues was in the area of contributions and donations. Evidence from this investigation indicated the athletic directors of the Southeastern Conference planned to maintain their competitive positions, particularly in football and basketball, while attempting to generate greater revenues.