How not to report on sports business, pt. 2


Via mgoblog comes an underwhelming piece of reporting from ESPN's Outside the Lines. Just like Forbes, ESPN (at the minimum two of their reporters) don't give proper weight to the basic concept that subsidy from a university's general fund does not constitute profit under any commonly-accepted definition of the term. Whatever quibbles may exist when it comes to accounting minutiae aren't nearly as big of an issue. Outside the Lines didn't cite faulty numbers out for intellectual reasons. They did it because anyone can pull up those figures in minutes, whereas actually filing FOIA requests to pull up each athletic department's Revenue and Expense reports would be lengthy and time consuming. It's a lot easier to take the easy way out and find an academic willing to launder your figures with unwarranted credibility. Brian Cook does a fantastic job ripping the report to pieces, as linked above. Furthermore, I'd like to add that looking at the NCAA's Aggregate Revenue and Expense reports identifies a better scapegoat for why teams don't pay players. On average, only two sports make money: football and men's basketball. This discussion is limited without confronting the elephant in the room that those two sports usually bear the burden for subsidizing the rest of an athletic department's activities, many of which are unfunded mandates stemming from Title IX.