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Adapted from NCAA Research; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

At the more than 1,100 schools across all three NCAA divisions, roughly $18.1 billion was spent on athletics in 2018.

Why it matters: The total revenue generated was $10.3 billion, leaving nearly $8 billion that had to be subsidized by other sources — $6.5 billion from institutional and government support and $1.5 billion from student fees.

By the numbers:

  • Revenues: The five largest sources of athletics revenue were direct institutional or government support (35%), media contracts (18%), donor contributions (16%), ticket sales (11%) and student fees (8%).
  • Expenses: The five largest sources of expenses were student aid (19%), coach compensation (15%), facilities (17%), administration compensation (16%) and game and travel (11%).

Between the lines: Schools are not required to disclose how much of their tuition revenue goes towards athletics (see above: student fees), leaving students in the dark about how much they're being charged and where that money is going.

  • State funding is often restricted for educational use, so four out of five of the 230 D-I public universities charge students a fee to finance sports teams, according to an NBC News investigation, with some charging in excess of $2,000 annually.

The big picture: Universities have long argued that investing in athletics pays off in the long run because successful teams help raise the school's national profile, boost the number of applications and lure major donors.

  • But as tuition costs continue to rise and a generation of students grows increasingly critical of where their money is being spent, that ideology could be under threat.

The last word:

"At some point, the students have to start asking, 'Why am I paying $1,000 to support this football team when I have no interest in going?'"
— Allen Sanderson, University of Chicago economics professor

Go deeper: Women take the lead on donating to support female college sports

Go deeper

Biden’s nightmare debut

President-elect Biden speaks in Wilmington on Nov. 24. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

A dim, gloomy scene seems increasingly set for Joe Biden's debut as president.

The state of play: He'll address — virtually — a virus-weary nation, with record-high daily coronavirus deaths, a flu season near its peak, restaurants and small businesses shuttered by wintertime sickness and spread.

Using apps to prevent deadly police encounters

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Mobile phone apps are evolving in ways that can stop rather than simply document deadly police encounters with people of color — including notifying family and lawyers about potential violations in real time.

Why it matters: As states and cities face pressure to reform excessive force policies, apps that monitor police are becoming more interactive, gathering evidence against rogue officers as well as posting social media videos to shame the agencies.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
15 hours ago - Technology

TikTok gets more time (again)

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The White House is again giving TikTok's Chinese parent company more to satisfy national security concerns, rather than initiating legal action, a source familiar with the situation tells Axios.

The state of play: China's ByteDance had until Friday to resolve issues raised by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS), which is chaired by Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin. This was the company's third deadline, with CFIUS having provided two earlier extensions.