“When the media call the NCAA about sports finances, they just say, 'Ask Dan.'”
If you do a Google search on the financial aspects of intercollegiate athletics, you’ll find more than 16,000 citations attributed to Dan Fulks. The Transylvania accounting professor is a nationally recognized authority on college sports finances and a research consultant to the National Collegiate Athletics Association.
Since 1994, Fulks has prepared an annual report that provides a line-item and overall look at revenue sources, expenses, and net profit or loss of sports programs at the NCAA’s more than 1,100 member schools. Fulks also has served as a consultant for colleges contemplating more emphasis on their athletics programs, the cost of adding a football program, the financial impact of gender equity issues, and many other matters. He has been quoted in USA Today, The Washington Post, SportsBusiness Journal, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and many other prominent media outlets.
Transylvania students benefit from this NCAA work. “I get my students involved in collecting data and compiling my annual study, and I bring my results and methodology into classroom discussion,” says Fulks.
In fact, every class Fulks teaches makes some reference to his research. “For example, it applies well to cost accounting, where direct and indirect costs are allocated to a specific product,” he explains. “Some costs are direct, such as a coach’s salary or uniforms for a team. Others, like the expenses of maintaining and operating a gym, are common to several sports. How do you allocate those common costs and thereby determine the cost of, say, women’s volleyball or men’s basketball?”
Fulks further enlivens his classroom presentations by drawing on his earlier experience as a staff member of Ernst & Young, where clients included the Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Braves, and Atlanta Stadium. He was involved in a key court case that set tax standards for depreciating the value of professional athletes.