Intercollegiate Athletics: Trends by Sport in National Collegiate Athletic Association Sports (GAO-07-744SP, July 2007), an E-supplement to GAO-07-535
Read the Full Report Intercollegiate Athletics: Recent Trends in Teams and Participants in National Collegiate Athletic Association Sports (GAO-07-535)
Scope and Methodology
In the report "Intercollegiate Athletics: Recent Trends in Teams and Participants in National Collegiate Athletic Association Sports" (GAO-07-535), we determined the recent trends in teams and participants in intercollegiate athletics by analyzing athletic data from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for two groups of colleges and universities. The first group of schools—the open group—is the entire NCAA membership, which increased from 847 schools in the 1991-1992 school year to 1,045 schools in the 2004-2005 school year. The primary source of athletic data for this group was the NCAA’s "1981-82 to 2004-05 Sports Sponsorship and Participation Rates Report", which is available from the NCAA website. Observed trends for this group will reflect both school-level sports sponsorship decisions to add, drop, expand, or contract sports teams and changes in NCAA membership. The second group of schools—the closed group—is the fixed set of 750 colleges and universities that were consistent members of the NCAA throughout the time period, that were not members of the second largest intercollegiate athletic association (the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) at any time during the time period, and that reported team and participant information in each year. The NCAA analyzed its internal school-level data and provided us customized team and participant aggregate statistics for the closed group for use in this report. Observed trends for this group will only reflect school-level sports sponsorship decisions. Please see appendix II of the report GAO-07-535 for a detailed scope and methodology.
Data in This E-Supplement
In this e-supplement to the report GAO-07-535, we conducted an analysis of athletic trends by
sport for the 1991-1992 through 2004-2005 school years. For the sport analysis, team and
participant counts reflect those provided directly by the NCAA, and we generated average
squad sizes by dividing the number of participants by the number of teams. Participant
counts reflect the sum of the number of individuals participating in each of the individual
sports analyzed for this study. In addition, for the open group, there was a change in the
way participation and sponsorship data were reported to the NCAA during our study period.
Specifically, counts for 1995-1996 through 2004-2005 include schools that had applied for but
not yet been given full membership status, while counts for 1991-1992 through 1994-1995 do not
include such schools. Therefore, athletic trends observed in the open group between 1994-1995
and 1995-1996 may also reflect the number of new institutions that joined the NCAA.
For more information on historical trends in sponsorship and participation by gender or sport, and a detailed description of NCAA’s collection methods, please refer to the NCAA’s "1981-82 to 2004-05 Sports Sponsorship and Participation Rates Report", which is available from the NCAA website.
A more detailed discussion of our scope and methodology and a summary of our results are contained in our report titled "Intercollegiate Athletics: Recent Trends in Teams and Participants in National Collegiate Athletic Association Sports", GAO-07-535.