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 members 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 importantly, earn a degree.
Of more than 1,100 member colleges and universities in the NCAA, only 20 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, second only to the federal government.
In short, we put our money where our mission is.
There are more than 460,000 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.
Meet some of the student-athletes who have benefited from NCAA revenue. They are succeeding on the field, in classroom and in life:
Florida Gulf Coast University basketball athlete Kaneisha Atwater was pregnant at 18, but instead of giving up her dreams to play college basketball and graduate, she pursued them further with additional motivation – so she can give her son the childhood she never had.
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 November 2014, University of Iowa men’s basketball player Gabe Olaseni tragically lost his father to a brief illness. Through the Student Assistance Fund, Iowa was able to pay for Olaseni to fly home to London, England, to attend his father’s funeral service and spend time with his family. Olaseni went on to have a successful year and was named Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year.
Elizabeth Tucker graduated from Notre Dame with a perfect 4.0 GPA and a national championship with Notre Dame’s women’s soccer team. In honor of her leadership, community service, strong academics and athletics success, she was named the NCAA Woman of the Year in October 2014. The event is supported through funds designed for student-athlete services.
Kendall Spencer – a former New Mexico track and field athlete and current chair of the national Student-Athlete Advisory Committee – credits college sports with creating opportunities for him that might never have had otherwise. Based on his experiences, he advocates to protect all college sports and opportunities for all college athletes.
Nicole Michmerhuizen is a five-time All-American in track and field and the Division III national champion in the 10,000 meter – and all while managing diabetes. During her time at Calvin College, she conducted extensive research on the human genome and how regions of the DNA are tied with diabetes susceptibility. Michmerhuizen received an NCAA postgraduate scholarship and is now working on her Ph.D. in pharmacology at the University of Michigan.
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.
Arizona State football players
The summer before the 2014 college football season, the Arizona State University Sun Devils offered five walk-on athletes full scholarships. Chip Sarafin, Fred Gammage, Jordan Simone, Jason Franklin and Brandon Mathews were informed at a team meeting, after putting in hard work on the gridiron and in the classroom. Here’s the emotional moment they learned about their scholarships.
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.
Cal State Stanislaus soccer athlete Karenee Demery was awarded the Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship in 2014. 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.
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.