Interesting Statistics [College Athletics]

At the moment, I’m attending the University of North Dakota, which is currently in the process of moving into NCAA Division I for some unknown reason. I went to undergrad at St. Lawrence University, which is Division III in everything but hockey. Now I know it’s sometimes ludicrous to compare the two, but I found out some interesting things from the Office of Postsecondary Education website.

Undergrad Enrollment (here’s the big difference):
SLU: 2,111
UND: 12,833

Unduplicated Athletic Participants (men and women):
SLU: 636
UND: 447

Already, this begins to look interesting. SLU has more students involved in intercollegiate athletics, TOTAL. If we take that to percents of total undergrads, we get:
SLU: 30%
UND: 3%

Yes, only 3% of UND students are involved in intercollegiate athletics! I don’t know how this stacks up against other schools, but to me that seems really, really low for all the hype that surrounds them.

If we look at the money (and this is the weird part), we get expenses like this:
Total Athletic Expenses:
SLU: $5,616,179
UND: $11,250,249

And we get revenue like this:
Total Athletic Revenue:
SLU: $5,616,179
UND: $11,414,689

I’m not sure why SLU’s net balance comes out to be $0. It might be something to do with losing money on teams (maybe since they have to pay for it somehow, they can’t have a negative balance?). UND’s balance is a shocker: Apparently the school made $164,440 dollars last year on athletics.

I admit that I’m a little biased against UND already for putting so much money into athletics to serve a whopping 3% of the undergraduate student body, but did they really make a profit? Will this continue when they have DI bills to pay? Something tells me that the switch to DI is going to cost more than $164,440 per year.

You might wonder why I don’t give SLU a hard time about not making a profit at all in athletics. I have to ask you this–are athletics for the students, or for the university? There is a lot of money flowing through SLU, and if some of it can be used for athletics to keep the athletes happy, I can live with that. Not so with a school at which only 3% of the undergraduates are part of the athletic program.

UPDATE: I’ve been discussing this in the City Beat blog comments.

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