News & Blog

02.24.20

OSU athletics no longer the exception to the rule

In October of last year, we published a blog post about how much Ohio universities were subsidizing their athletic programs during the 2017-18 academic year.

Image result for ohio state athletics

We indicated that Ohio State was the only institution that has not had to subsidize their programs, as they have been able to generate enough revenue from ticket sales, donations, TV deals, and other sources to not only cover their expenses, but typically generate a surplus, too.

However, a recent article published by The Columbus Dispatch reported that Ohio State was in the red for Fiscal Year 2019 by over $10 million, based on what the university disclosed to the NCAA.

OSU’s athletic director and other administrators contend that, while the institution did incur a deficit, it was just over $600,000, not in the millions. They attribute the discrepancy to accounting changes.

Nevertheless, it is astonishing that The Ohio State University — one of those few football powerhouses in the country that generates hundreds of millions of dollars — still managed to produce a deficit last fiscal year. The very different reports on the size of the deficits beg the question as to whether OSU and Ohio’s other institutions should undergo full independent athletic audits so that students and taxpayers can see how their money is being spent.

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