Moving On Up? Whether Leaps to Division 1-A in American College Football Benefit Universities

By Wesley Borucki.

Published by Journal of Sports Management and Commercialization

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: May 7, 2015 $US5.00

While a couple of universities have done well with a move from a smaller division of American college football to its largest division, Division 1-A or the Football Bowl Subdivision as it is now known, several other universities – most of them publicly supported – have made the same move hoping to imitate the success of the University of Connecticut and Boise State University, which from their football programs’ humble beginnings have received berths in the very lucrative Bowl Championship Series. This paper will examine newspaper reports and financial records of athletic departments of public universities that have made this jump to the higher division to consider whether the financial rewards that these schools anticipated have been realized. Given the fact that these moves require football programs to have bigger stadiums and practice facilities and hire more experienced coaches to try to compete with more established programs, in most cases the costs are too high to counterbalance. Conclusions can carry great public policy significance at the state level, for taxpayers and student bodies are sometimes asked to subsidize programs making these moves if they have financial shortfalls, even in the present ailing economy.

Keywords: Football, Colleges and Universities, Revenue

Journal of Sports Management and Commercialization, Volume 6, Issue 2, June 2015, pp.13-31. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: May 7, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 545.164KB)).

Dr. Wesley Borucki

Associate Professor of History, School of Arts and Sciences,, Department of History, Palm Beach Atlantic University, West Palm Beach, Florida, USA