Last week I talked to a reporter (Josh O'Leary) for the Iowa City Press Citizen about NCAA athletic department capital spending - focusing on buildings and grounds expenditures. While Mr. O'Leary did a very good job, I thought that I would also share some things that did not make the article.
Using the data from USA Today's NCAA financial department database for the 2006 to 2011 academic years, I find that athletic department spending by Big Ten athletic departments on Buildings and Grounds is statistically different (and higher) for all of the other twenty-nine conferences except for the ACC, Big 12, Pac 12 (now) and SEC during the 2006 to 2009 seasons and for the 2010 and 2011 years is statistically different (and higher) for all the twenty-nine conferences except the ACC, Big 12 and SEC. Hence, Big Ten schools have some of the highest average expenditures on buildings and grounds as a conference.
Additionally, I said that there are "haves and have not's" among NCAA athletic departments. To back that statement up, I note that the degree of building and grounds expenditures is highly unequal. As a comparison group, I looked at income inequality as measure by the Gini coefficient, building and grounds expenditures are more unequal than any of the nations that the World Bank reports from 2009. The highest (most unequal) was South Africa in 2009 at 63.1. For all six years, NCAA athletic department expenditures on building and grounds had a Gini coefficient at a minimum of 72.6, which is more unequal than one of nations with the most unequally distribution of income.