There is a lot of talk about how much money college sports generates.
But did you know that more than 90 percent of the NCAA’s revenue goes to support student-athletes?
The NCAA and its member campuses are committed to providing opportunities for student-athletes to compete in college while pursuing their educations.
The value of the collegiate athletics experience is something you can’t put a price on. College sports provide opportunities for student-athletes to grow, develop leadership skills, get involved in their communities and, most important, earn a degree.
Of more than 1,100 member colleges and universities in the NCAA, only 23 schools make more money than they spend on sports each year.
For the rest, resources from the NCAA help schools fund $2.7 billion in athletic scholarships every year.
There are more than 450,000 student-athletes, and the majority of them will go pro in something other than sports. Those student-athletes will take with them not just their degrees, but the experiences of college athletics and the life lessons they learned along the way.
In short, we put our money where our mission is.
Meet some of the student-athletes who have benefited from NCAA revenue. They are succeeding on the field, in classroom and in life:
Michigan State basketball star Adreian Payne overcame the tragic death of his mother. He academically qualified for college with a learning disability and earned a basketball scholarship. He led the Spartans on and off the court, he developed a friendship with a local girl suffering from cancer and graduated this spring before being a first round draft pick by the Atlanta Hawks.
University of South Florida Student-Athletes
The University of South Florida provides its student-athletes with access to Mac laptops, allowing student-athletes to work on course assignments at any time and in any location. This initiative was made possible by an allocation from the NCAA Academic Enhancement Fund, along with the Bulls Club annual auction and a grant from the Verizon Foundation.
Kyle Dake enjoyed the championship experience four times, making history by becoming the first DI wrestler to win four titles in four different weight classes. The Academic All-American from Cornell wrestled his way to the record books in front of a sold out crowd and an electric championship atmosphere.
In October 2013, University of Minnesota linebacker Harold Legania's aunt passed away. It was important to Legania to return home to New Orleans for her funeral, but he was not sure if he could afford the last-minute airfare. Minnesota, using money from the Student Assistance Fund, covered the cost of his round trip flight home so he could be there with his family.
Elizabeth Phillips — a three-time NCAA Elite 89 Award winner, seven-time All-American and biomedical engineering graduate of Washington University in St. Louis — was named the 2012 NCAA Woman of the Year. This event is supported through funds designated for student-athletes services. Phillips is also an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipient.
Kali Lents won the 3-meter dive National Championship at the 2013 Division II Championships Festival. The festival is held every year to enhance the collegiate experience and create exposure for each Division II sport, providing an unparalleled opportunity to celebrate the achievements of more than 1,100 DII student-athletes.
Karvel Anderson had a more difficult childhood than most. After a brief but trying period of homelessness in high school, followed by fighting his way through junior college, he earned a basketball scholarship from Robert Morris University. The face of the basketball program worked hard on his academics, and will now be the first member of his family to earn a college degree.
Professional runner and cofounder of Picky Bars, Lauren Fleshman is a former scholarship student-athlete at Stanford where she was a 5-time NCAA Champion. She credits her “nerdy Stanford background in science and athletic performance” in helping her create the perfect gluten- and dairy-free energy bar that athletes everywhere enjoy.
James Montgomery walked on to Northwestern’s basketball team instead of accepting scholarships elsewhere because he valued the education Northwestern would provide. For two years he excelled in the classroom and on the practice court, got the grades and became an integral part of the team. In 2013, James was awarded with a scholarship. This is the emotional moment he found out.
Kansas State basketball phenom Nicole Ohlde entered the WNBA draft in 2004. For the 6'5" student-athlete, finding affordable, elegant formal wear was no small feat. Kansas State used the Student Assistance Fund to help her purchase suitable attire for her big night.
Drury swimmer Kelsey Ward was awarded the Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship in 2012, helping her pursue a doctorate in medicine. To be eligible for the scholarship, student-athletes must hold a grade-point average of at least 3.5, demonstrate evidence of superior character and leadership, and show that participation in athletics has been a positive influence on their personal and intellectual development.