Author Topic: Future of D3 Funding  (Read 573 times)

Offline Andy Jamison - Walla Walla Wildcat

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Future of D3 Funding
« on: May 10, 2022, 03:22:39 pm »
With the NCAA D1 seemingly imploding before our eyes because of NIL and the Transfer Portal, what does the mean for the future of D3?  As I understand it, a dedicated portion of the NCAA budget goes to D3.  These funds are used to pay for championships (and what else?).  The bulk of the NCAA revenue comes from March Madness, right? At some point, the NCAA as we've known it is going to no longer exist.

When that happens, what is the impact on D3?

Offline jknezek

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Re: Future of D3 Funding
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2022, 03:57:59 pm »
With the NCAA D1 seemingly imploding before our eyes because of NIL and the Transfer Portal, what does the mean for the future of D3?  As I understand it, a dedicated portion of the NCAA budget goes to D3.  These funds are used to pay for championships (and what else?).  The bulk of the NCAA revenue comes from March Madness, right? At some point, the NCAA as we've known it is going to no longer exist.

When that happens, what is the impact on D3?

This is the $35 million question. And I say that, because that is roughly D3's budget. There are 440 or so D3 schools. Right now, annual dues per D3 school are around $2000. So, there is roughly a $78,000 difference between what D3 costs and what D3 pays per member school.

So, when D1 finally takes their Basketball tournament money all to themselves.... D3 schools will either need to stump up an extra $78K per year to keep the same level of service (adjusted for inflation each year of course), or they will need to cut back on expenses to a level that they will agree to pay.

I suspect, if D3 is smart, they will take that $80K average and start dividing it by cost per sport. As an example that is not rooted in any real analysis of the costs, but provides b.s. numbers for simplicity... here you go.

If you want to have a D3 football team, it will cost you $15K annually, because the D3 football tournament is insanely expensive thanks to the size of teams and support staff, and the cost of just a couple necessary charter flights.

I also suspect there could be 2 tiers. One tier participating and paying for the national tournament, that imaginary $15K, and one tier playing just a regular season but still existing under the NCAA umbrella, maybe $1K. The playoff tier will be expensive, the non-playoff will be relatively cheap. The more schools that opt out of the playoffs, the smaller the playoffs will be, but with the cost amortized over fewer schools, the more expensive it will be.

On the flip side, a sport like basketball probably will cost less. The teams are small. So while the tournament is large, there are relatively few expensive travel arrangements. So it may be only $5K annually to have a D3 tournament participating basketball team.

Once D3 figures out how much it actually costs for each sport, championship and not, schools will start deciding if it is worth the extra expense to have the team. I suspect, even if football is $20K, most schools will say yes because the extra tuition they receive from large football teams is well worth the expense.

But yeah, it's going to be a new budget line item. D3 has gotten a pretty good ride, with schools paying only 1/40th of the cost of the division. That's going to change. Where does the extra $75-$80K come from? I suspect from the student body. Maybe you have to pay to be a student athlete. Or, more likely, they just roll it in to another line item fee, or add another line item fee, for all students. Most colleges already have these line items, what's one more?

If your school has 2000 undergrads, and you want full participation in all NCAA sports at the championship level, let's pretend that costs $100K a year. Well, at 2000 students, it's only $50 extra per year. It's basically rounding error.

Now what about a school with say 700 kids? Well, you probably aren't going to participate in every sport, so maybe you only have to pay $35K per year. Guess what? Same $50 per student per year.

Offline Pat Coleman

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Re: Future of D3 Funding
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2022, 07:12:32 pm »
I believe the baseball championship is actually the most expensive, for what it's worth.
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Offline jknezek

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Re: Future of D3 Funding
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2022, 07:34:48 pm »
I believe the baseball championship is actually the most expensive, for what it's worth.

Interesting. But with 389 baseball schools to amortize it over. The cost per championship per team participating in the sport would be the fun number to know!

Offline crufootball

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Re: Future of D3 Funding
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2022, 02:45:11 pm »
This most likely isn't perfect but it is based on the 2021-2022 budget found at https://ncaaorg.s3.amazonaws.com/about/d3/D3_FactandFigures.pdf. I then used the NCAA Directory to get the amount of teams playing each sport.  Other than women's rowing, football is not surprisingly the most expensive per team with most sports being between $2,000 and $3,000 per team.


Offline jknezek

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Re: Future of D3 Funding
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2022, 03:47:28 pm »
So the championships are about 2/3rds of the budget. That makes this kind of easy. The division overhead is about 1/3 the budget or $12 million. So, the total D3 membership of 440 schools will have to cover this amount. There are 8043 teams on that spreadsheet. $12 million / 8043 = $1500 per team, essentially. That's what it's going to cost to have a team in a sport in D3 if we divide up the overhead equally.

So if you want to have all 23 sports, it's going to cost $34,500 annually if you don't want to participate in the national tournaments. Now, let's talk about championships. Let's assume your 23 sports are the 23 most popular, which is basically every men's and women's sport with more than 125 participants. That rules out Men's and Women's Ice Hockey, Women's Rowing, Men's Volleyball, and Men's Wrestling. 11 men's sports, 12 women's left.

How much will it cost? Well, for the 11 men's championships, it's another $41,000. For women, it's another $36,000. So $77,000 more for a total annual cost of...

$111,000


That $2000 per school that we are paying right now looks like an awfully good deal, doesn't it? Sure are going to miss that charity from D1 and I sure do understand why D3, despite being the largest division by schools and athletes, doesn't push real hard for more handouts....

And yes, for those keeping track at home... to avoid Title IX issues, you are probably going to have to find a way to even out those numbers. So that means adding some to the women, taking away some from the men, or both.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2022, 03:49:55 pm by jknezek »

Offline Andy Jamison - Walla Walla Wildcat

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Re: Future of D3 Funding
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2022, 04:01:09 pm »
Wow! This is a fantastic analysis and it really puts into perspective the benefit of D3 with the NCAA.

Offline Ron Boerger

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Re: Future of D3 Funding
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2022, 10:38:51 am »
Of course, another option to cut back on costs is to reduce championship access.  With the numbers of schools in financial difficulty already that may end up being what the greater D3 membership goes for.  And if it does (or even if it does not), do schools suddenly decide that the (ack) NAIA looks more attractive?

Offline Ralph Turner

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Re: Future of D3 Funding
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2022, 11:42:02 am »
Of course, another option to cut back on costs is to reduce championship access.  With the numbers of schools in financial difficulty already that may end up being what the greater D3 membership goes for.  And if it does (or even if it does not), do schools suddenly decide that the (ack) NAIA looks more attractive?
.. where the schools pay for the expenses of the post-season play? (Is that not the NAIA way?)

Offline jknezek

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Re: Future of D3 Funding
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2022, 12:31:53 pm »
Of course, another option to cut back on costs is to reduce championship access.  With the numbers of schools in financial difficulty already that may end up being what the greater D3 membership goes for.  And if it does (or even if it does not), do schools suddenly decide that the (ack) NAIA looks more attractive?
.. where the schools pay for the expenses of the post-season play? (Is that not the NAIA way?)

Well... that's likely what D3 will revert to when the P5 takes their money and goes. And yes, it is absolutely a when, not if.

Offline FANOFD3

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Re: Future of D3 Funding
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2022, 04:31:54 pm »
Of course, another option to cut back on costs is to reduce championship access.  With the numbers of schools in financial difficulty already that may end up being what the greater D3 membership goes for.  And if it does (or even if it does not), do schools suddenly decide that the (ack) NAIA looks more attractive?
.. where the schools pay for the expenses of the post-season play? (Is that not the NAIA way?)

Well... that's likely what D3 will revert to when the P5 takes their money and goes. And yes, it is absolutely a when, not if.

I think we will see schools go to what the administration and major supporters want the school to go. You'll see some schools go to DI-FCS (St. Thomas, go to DII (Emory & Henry), to NAIA (Presentation), and others play a more NESCAC DIII Football

Offline Ron Boerger

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Re: Future of D3 Funding
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2022, 09:19:14 am »
Of course, another option to cut back on costs is to reduce championship access.  With the numbers of schools in financial difficulty already that may end up being what the greater D3 membership goes for.  And if it does (or even if it does not), do schools suddenly decide that the (ack) NAIA looks more attractive?
.. where the schools pay for the expenses of the post-season play? (Is that not the NAIA way?)


Here's another way (sadly) of looking at it.  Let's say you're one of the schools in a conference that almost never is on the Pool C bubble, let alone wins a conference championship to earn a Pool A; Sul Ross in the ASC, Dallas in the SCAC, Sewanee in the SAA.  Why should you pay $111K a year (using the number above) for championship access your student-athletes will nearly never have a chance to enjoy?   So every third year you have to pay for a team to go one-and-done, if you're not flush with cash that may the better option. 

And using FANOFD3's thoughts, these sorts of schools largely don't have major supporters or alumni involvement in the athletic program; support such as it is comes from parents who by and large don't have the wherewithal to add this to the financial support they already provide to their children just to attend college. 

Offline Ralph Turner

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Re: Future of D3 Funding
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2022, 12:58:42 am »
UDallas waited for a decade to join the SCAC after leaving the ASC and its less-than-acceptable membership.
Sewanee is in the dilemma, i.e., would it rather lose to Rhodes, Birmingham-Southern and Centre or have to compete against University of Pikeville or Milligan.  The latter do not carry the panache that might be expected by the alums.