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Derrick Z. Jackson

The money pit

Most colleges are playing a losing game with athletic spending

By Derrick Z. Jackson
Globe Columnist / December 11, 2011
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Big-time college sports is the corpulent monster swallowing itself into fatal collapse. The heart of the enterprise, the amateur student-athlete model, is nearly drained of its last blood, flowing instead with multi-billion-dollar television contracts, multi-million-dollar coaches and an idolatrous culture that cowers the most prestigious of college presidents. Instead of banding together to put a halt to the madness, presidents are gripped with a Vegas mentality that has them losing millions of dollars a year of public funds and student fees, gambling they can leapfrog each other for gridiron glory.

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Winners and losers
■In 2010, a total of 22 Football Bowl Subdivision athletic programs reported positive net revenues: 98 programs reported deficits.
■For the 22 programs in the black, the median surplus was $7.4 million. For those in the red, the median deficit was $11.6 million.
That’s a median gap of $19 million between the haves and have-nots.
SOURCE: NCAA