Study highlights spending gaps in NCAA

UNDATED (AP) -- A new study in time for the NCAA's annual meeting in Texas reveals the disparity between rising spending on big time athletics and academic expenditure.

The study says annual spending on sports by public universities in six big-time conferences like the SEC and Big 12 has passed $100,000 per athlete -- about six to 12 times the amount those universities are spending per student on academics.

Data compiled by the Delta Cost Project at American Institutes for Research finds the largest gap by far in the SEC, which combines relatively low academic spending and explosive coaching salaries. Median athletic spending there totaled nearly $164,000 per athlete in 2010.

Across Division I, athletic spending --though still smaller in absolute terms -- rose twice as fast as academic spending between 2005 and 2010.

This comes at a time of falling state funding for higher education and increasing tuition.