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The spoils of football

National | If Title IX defenders cite high levels of spending in major college football programs as a rallying cry, proponents of change may soon point to astonishing revenue divides.

Issue: "Army of compassion," April 5, 2003

If Title IX defenders cite high levels of spending in major college football programs as a rallying cry, proponents of change may soon point to astonishing revenue divides. College football is big business, while women's athletics programs almost always operate in the red. Sure, it's true that Ohio State spent over $11 million on its football program in 2002, but the football national champions also earned $47.2 million in revenue. More amazing was the extent to which other programs throughout collegiate athletics benefit from college football's success. "We have all this extra money coming in, but the budget for our football program remains the same," Penn State football coach Joe Paterno told The Morning Call. "Where is all that extra money going? It's going to all the other sports, the nonrevenue sports." According to Penn State's gender-equity disclosure, the football program made an $18 million profit while the rest of the athletic department lost in excess of $11 million. But nowhere is the revenue divide felt more keenly than in Mississippi. Though both Ole Miss's and Mississippi State's football programs recorded moderate earnings of around $11 million, women's sports at the two schools couldn't earn enough to pay their coaches. Ole Miss generated just under $17,000 in women's sports revenue while Mississippi State earned $47,500. Women's sports programs are not expected to create much revenue. Vanderbilt reported $1.6 million more revenue than expenses in its Department of Education disclosures. But according to Vanderbilt Associate Athletic Director Michelle Kennedy, the university could report private giving as revenue, but did not have to claim facility improvements as expenses. "We don't make money from our women's programs," Ms. Kennedy said. "Our capital giving only makes it look that way." Complete money totals for the 117 schools with Division I football programs

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