Since 2004, Athletics’ allocations have consistently increased at a rate above average for other WKU units. In fact, since 1999 the Athletics budget has increased by about 325%; the increase in WKU’s unrestricted Educational & General budget for that same time period was only 182%. Just in the last few years, since 2010, Athletics shows an increases in wages of 51%, well above that of any other unit.
Athletics has also seen a dramatic increase in revenue. To allow a (non revenue-dependent) unit to claim revenue as exclusively theirs is a recurrent decision made by the WKU Administration, reflecting their priorities.
The Knight Commission, established by a private nonprofit foundation to study trends in athletic and academic spending, can be used to compare WKU to other schools using many different athletic and academic data parameters. For a quick reference guide to athletic budgets, also see USA Today’s NCAA Finances Database.
Trends in Athletics & Higher Education
“Can college athletics continue to spend like this?” USA Today, 4/18/2016
“The $10-billion sports tab: How college students are funding the athletics arms race,” Chronicle of Higher Education, 11/15/2015
“Winning often means less student fees, taxpayer money spent on athletics,” USA Today, 2/9/2012
“College sports come at a cost to Kentucky taxpayers,” Lexington Herald-Leader, 4/1/2012
WKU: Articles & Opinion
“Athletics funding, subsidies in question,” WKU Herald, 8/24/2015
“Budget raises questions about swim funding, athletics subsidy,” WKU Herald, 6/3/2015
“Groups oppose student fee hike,” Bowling Green Daily News, 4/17/2015
“Athlete, student spending ratio disproportionate,” WKU Herald, 2/19/2014
“SGA passes resolution against annual increase of student athletic fee,” WKU Herald, 4/26/2013
“WKU President Ransdell on Role of Athletics at University,” WKYU-FM, 1/15/2013