Income Redistribution and College Sports

20 Oct

I keep hearing about income redistribution.  I’m trying to decide whether it’s “fair.”  The basic plan, as I understand it, is to take money from those that have it and distribute it to those that don’t; thereby, the gap between the “haves” and the “have nots” will be smaller.

My first thought is that this is too important a question to be left to politicians.  Look at them!  Politicians require the general citizenry to participate in government sponsored programs like Social Security and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act but exclude themselves since they have their own plans.  For a long while, the Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disability Act did not apply to them either.  With this history, I wouldn’t be surprised if politicians exempted themselves from income redistribution, i.e., a politician loop-hole.

Perhaps the feasibility of this income redistribution should be explored before being imposed on the population.

According to the Census Bureau, 14.8 percent of the population were at or below the poverty level (2015). This represents 46.7 million people in poverty (United States Census Bureau, 2015).  Apparently it is this 14.8 percent of the population that income redistribution is designed to help.

Contrariwise, there are 128 colleges and universities in the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision of the NCAA (Wikipedia, 2015).  Only sixteen percent of those colleges or universities reported revenues exceeding expenses for all athletic programs (Burnsed, 2014).  When looking at the revenue and expenses of these athletic programs, the revenue includes not only institutional support but also revenue generated by the athletic department (Burnsed, 2014).  The median net revenue for the athletic programs showing a profit was $8.45 million (Burnsed, 2014).

One hundred and twenty-eight colleges and universities is a reasonable number with which to explore this idea of income redistribution.[1]  It doesn’t require amendments the tax code.  It doesn’t start the United States down the path towards yet another “entitlement” program.

It will be interesting to see if redistribution of athletic income levels the playing field, closes the gap between the “haves” and the “have nots,” and encourages income parity across the 128 colleges and universities of the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision of the NCAA.  Maybe it would be “fair.”  Perhaps if it works here, it could work for the 14.8 percent of the population below the poverty level.  What do you think?


Burnsed, B. (2014, August 20). Growth in Division I athletic expenses outpaces revenue increases. Retrieved from NCAA Research:

United States Census Bureau. (2015, September 10). Poverty. Retrieved from U.S. Census Bureau Social, Economic, and Housing Statistics Division: Poverty:

Wikipedia. (2015, October 17). List of NCAA Division I FBS football programs. Retrieved from Wikipedia:

[1] This should be distribution across the 128 colleges and universities in the Football Bowl Subdivision and not simply within the conference or league like ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, PAC-12, SEC, etc.


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