Contextualizing the Financial Disparity Discussion: Modeling Power Five and Group of Five Athletic Revenues

Liz Wanless – Ohio University
Nicholas M. Watanabe – University of South Carolina
Heather J. Lawrence-Benedict – Ohio University
Andy Fodor – Ohio University


The debate surrounding the financial divide between National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Power Five and Group of Five athletic programs has yet to be contextualized with an analysis of financial ecosystems for each designation. This quantitative analysis applied random and fixed effects design to five years of revenue data from Power Five and Group of Five athletic programs. Results show that university demographic, market, athletic success, and facilities variables have different effects on revenue for each subgroup. Results also vary within the Power Five and Group of Five membership. Study conclusions allow for a more informed, less biased, and data-driven consideration of the growing financial divide within the NCAA FBS.