A list of NCAA requirements for FBS and FCS football, a market analysis of Edinburg and the Valley, and comparisons between UTRGV and other football programs around the nation are among other highlights noted in the university’s football feasibility study.
The Monitor acquired the study, which was conducted by College Sports Solutions and has otherwise not been released publicly, from UTRGV through a public information request.
College Sports Solutions evaluated UTRGV against three different groups of universities:
>> All institutions that sponsor FCS football, formerly known as Division I-AA
>> FBS institutions from the Group of Five conferences — the American Athletic Conference, Mid-American Conference, Mountain West Conference, Conference USA and Sun Belt Conference
>> A group of 14 FBS institutions identified as peers or aspirational peers within UTRGV’s strategic plan or through CSS’ discussions with UTRGV president Guy Bailey: the University of Central Florida, Louisiana Tech, the University of Cincinnati, the University of New Mexico, East Carolina University, the University of North Texas, Florida Atlantic University, the University of South Florida, Florida International University, Texas State University, the University of Houston, the University of Texas at El Paso, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and the University of Texas at San Antonio
CSS used data from UTRGV’s first year of existence — fiscal year 2016. Those numbers were compared to data from fiscal year 2015 — the most recent available — for all other schools against which UTRGV was benchmarked.
Among the findings:
>> UTRGV’s enrollment ranked ahead of the 50th percentile in all three groups, falling short of the 75th percentile for only peer institutions.
>> UTRGV’s total institution expenditures of about $441.5 million ranked higher than the 75th percentile of FCS institutions, fell between the 25th and 50th percentile for the Group of Five and lagged approximately $50 million below the 25th percentile of peer institutions.
>> UTRGV’s total athletics expenditures of about $12.7 million were comparable to the 25th percentile of FCS institutions but would have to double to even approach the 25th percentile for the Group of Five and peer universities.