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College sports make millions

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

Did you know that almost $100 million will be handed out to the teams and conferences that participate in college football's Bowl Championship Series? In fact, both Notre Dame and Ohio State will earn close to $15 million each for playing in the Fiesta Bowl later today. While this will probably be the biggest payday of the year for both schools, the money earned today will account for only a fraction of their total athletics revenue. Both Notre Dame and Ohio State earned more than $50 million in athletics revenue last year. We speak to three experts on the economics of college sports to get their take on the big business of college athletics. We talk to economists Rodney Fort and Andrew Zimbalist about how much money the major college athletics programs rake in each year. We will also talk to Jim Lackritz from the SDSU College of Business about how the Aztecs' Athletic Department compares to the big boys of college sports.

Guests:

  • Dr. Jim Lackritz . Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Business Administration at San Diego State University. He was formerly a faculty representative and Chairman of SDSU's Intercollegiate Athletic Authority.
  • Rodney Fort . Co-editor of the book Economics of College Sports, and the Vice President of the International Association of Sports Economists. He is also an Economics Professor at Washington State University.
  • Dr. Andrew Zimbalist . Economics Professor at Smith College in Massachusetts. Wrote the book Unpaid Professionals: Commercialism and Conflict in Big Time College Sports. His latest book In the Best Interests of Baseball? The Revolutionary Reign of Bud Selig will be released in March.

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