The relation between financial spending and winning in NCAA Division III

Internet-published Paper

Sather, B. A. (2004). The relation between financial spending and winning in NCAA Division III. Unpublished manuscript, Eastern Oregon University.


Recently, financial concerns about intercollegiate athletics have received substantial attention in various media. NCAA Division I programs receive much of the attention but most college athletes participate at smaller colleges. The purpose of the study was to examine the influence of operating expenses on winning in the NCAA Division III. Eight sports (4 men’s and 4 women’s) were selected for collection of data based on their popularity in the NCAA Division III. Data was collected from 42 conferences and 2,433 teams. The results of the Spearman’s rank order correlation test found weak correlations between operating expenditures and winning percentages. A further analysis of the data revealed substantial positive intercorrelations for operating expenditures between sports at each institution. Due to the recent calls for reform, especially of big-time intercollegiate sports, the author recommends that Division III members move toward more equitable expenditures between schools and refocus on the division mission. “Small-time” college sports programs, such as those in Division III, should relish their inexpensive nature and seek to maintain their integrity by limiting costs.

October 2004