Athletic Programs: PWIs VS. HBCUS

The NCAA started to secure television broadcasting rights in the 1950s. Due to the evolution of television and radio,  networks began to pay the NCAA millions of dollars to broadcast games. The early business & wealth accumulation model was largely exclusive to whites. HBCUs were excluded to those same broadcasting — and money making— opportunities. That is where the differences in HBCU and PWI revenue stem from. 

Without regular television contracts, shares of major conference revenues, and occasional large private donations, participation in the highest levels of competition was not possible for HBCUs. 

PWIs have since become a popular destination for Black athletes — with more funding, opportunities, and exposure compared to HBCUs. HBCUs remained at lower levels due to the Black athlete extraction that occurred, ultimately causing a damaging impact on the economic viability of HBCU athletics, still present today.  

Funding & Revenue

PWIs generate much more total revenue each year from ticket sales, rights/licensing, and contributions, while HBCUs continue to lack financial support. 


 The difference in facilities at PWIs compared to HBCUs is  a prime example of systemic racism that persists even within college athletics. Without the proper funding, HBCU facilities remain inferior.  

Source: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Source: @MorehouseMBB on twitter

University of Miami, Watsco Center

         Morehouse College, Forbes Arena    

$53.4 million dollar facility

$8 million dollar facility 


Fans bring in one source of revenue for athletic programs. HBCUs have much fewer resources than PWIs, so less attraction and attention is gained.