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Profit or loss? On the determinants of net income of United States college football programs

Peter Omondi-Ochieng (Department of Kinesiology, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, Louisiana, USA)

Journal of Financial Reporting and Accounting

ISSN: 1985-2517

Article publication date: 2 September 2019




This study aims to predict the determinants of net income of 101 US university football programs.


Guided by stakeholder theory, financial capacity model and resource dependency theory, the dependent variable was net income (indicated as profit or loss) and independent variables were measured as the number of women and men’s team sports, average home attendances, win–loss records, conference ranking, endowment funds and age of football programs. Statistical analysis was performed using Kendell tau and binary logistic regression (BLR).


Net income was positively and statistically associated with home attendance, win–loss record, conference rankings and endowment funds, but not number of women’s sports, age of football program and number of men’s sports teams. The BLR indicated that home attendance was the best predictor of net income.

Research limitations/implications

The research was delimited to 101 Football Bowl Subdivision football programs from public universities.

Practical implications

The findings indicate that home attendance and conference rankings had the highest association with net income, but the former was the best predictor of net income and not football tradition nor number of sports teams.


The study was pioneering in the predictive evaluation of the possible determinants of loss or profitability in college football programs.



Omondi-Ochieng, P. (2019), "Profit or loss? On the determinants of net income of United States college football programs", Journal of Financial Reporting and Accounting, Vol. 17 No. 3, pp. 411-431.



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