This analysis focuses on several key issues in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). The intrinsic benefits of athletic programs are discussed in the first section. Trends in graduation rates and academic performance among athletes and how they correlate with the general student body are discussed in the second section. Finally, an overview of the revenues and expenses of athletic department budgets are discussed in an effort to gain a better understanding of the allocation of funds to athletics. In spite of recent growth in revenues and expenses, the athletic department budget comprises on average only 5 percent of the entire university budget at an FBS school, though spending and revenues have increased dramatically in recent years. In the grand scheme of things, American higher education faces several other, arguably more pressing, areas of reform. However, athletics is a significant and growing dimension of higher education that warrants in-depth examination.