Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Women's Fencing - Sabre

On the first day of the 2008 Olympics, the US swept the medals in women's fencing in sabre. Later in the women's team competition, the US women's team won the bronze medal. In an earlier NBC interview, each of the US Olympic medal winner's mentioned that they had an affiliation with an NCAA Division I school. Mariel Zagunis is currently at the University of Notre Dame, Sada Jacobsen is a graduate of Harvard University and Becca Ward will be a freshmen at Duke University.

So what I wanted to know is what are the revenues, costs, profits or losses and average profit/loss of these NCAA schools. Let's examine the 24 NCAA Division I schools using the latest (2005-2006) data, which is in the table below.

The first thing to note is that only one school (Univ. of Pennsylvania) actually made a profit, seven schools broke-even and sixteen reported a loss with the Big Ten's Ohio State generating the largest loss ($-482,065). Getting back to the three women's Olympic medal winners - Harvard University reportedly broke-even in women's fencing, the University of Notre Dame incurred a loss of $302,765 and Duke University lost $437,992 in women's fencing.

The number of students competing in NCAA Division I fencing range from a low of seven at Detriot-Mercy to a high of 27 at Northwestern (Big Ten school), North Carolina and Columbia. We see the average per student numbers ranged from a loss of a little more than $34,000 per student for Ohio State to a profit of about $1,500 per student for Penn. Of the sixteen schools that made a loss; most were less than $5,000 per student which is relatively small - as compared to most men's and women's NCAA sports as I will be chronicling over the next few months.

University Number Revenue Expenses Loss Ave Loss
Boston College 14 $6,835 $6,835 $0 $0
Duke University 15 $16,080 $73,351 -$57,271 -$3,818
Northwestern University 27 $9,038 $447,030 -$437,992 -$16,222
Ohio State University 14 $52,310 $534,375 -$482,065 -$34,433
Pennsylvania State University 24 $125,010 $293,012 -$168,002 -$7,000
Rutgers University 14 $77,285 $79,931 -$2,646 -$189
Stanford University 10 $66,759 $186,372 -$119,613 -$11,961
Temple University 15 $282,996 $282,996 $0 $0
University of North Carolina 27 $1,448 $90,713 -$89,265 -$3,306
University of Notre Dame 16 $19,832 $322,597 -$302,765 -$18,923
Brown University 21 $41,647 $41,647 $0 $0
Columbia University 27 $20,414 $133,754 -$113,340 -$4,198
Cornell University 16 $26,411 $119,413 -$93,002 -$5,813
Harvard University 14 $114,392 $114,392 $0 $0
James Madison University 9 $19,711 $41,978 -$22,267 -$2,474
Princeton University 19 $109,396 $115,453 -$6,057 -$319
Sacred Heart University 11 $16,193 $16,193 $0 $0
University of Pennsylvania 13 $136,407 $116,070 $20,337 $1,564
Yale University 17 $24,960 $172,017 -$147,057 -$8,650
California State University-Fullerton 10 $66,472 $83,295 -$16,823 -$1,682
Cleveland State University 10 $22,575 $22,575 $0 $0
Fairleigh Dickinson University 10 $93,348 $97,017 -$3,669 -$367
St. John's University-New York 16 $206,377 $206,377 $0 $0
University of Detroit Mercy 7 $23,651 $26,531 -$2,880 -$411

The question that I have is if the average loss in 2005-2006 was about $5,400 and many other sports have much higher average losses, then why are there not more NCAA Division I women's fencing programs - at least with sabre? We seem to be rather good as of late with Olympic gold in 2004 and 2008 in women's fencing (sabre). Let me know what you think?

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