Dartmouth, UNC athletics have little in common

April 13, 2013 

President Carol L. Folt shows off a Dartmouth athletic shirt following the new student welcome ceremony on September 5, 2012, in the Berry Sports Center's Leede Arena.

ELI BURAK — Dartmouth University

Both Dartmouth and North Carolina field a sizeable number of varsity athletic teams. But the comparisons just about end there for two college athletic departments that couldn’t be much more different.

Carol Folt, who will become UNC-Chapel Hill’s new chancellor, won’t directly oversee the athletic department. But her leadership of the university will include oversight of athletics, and that is a responsibility that her predecessor, Holden Thorp, learned can be especially challenging after a series of investigations into academic misconduct and NCAA violations involving the football team.

Folt will arrive at UNC from Dartmouth College, where she has served as the interim president. Here’s a look at some key differences between the athletic departments at Dartmouth and UNC:

Level of competition

If there were a Mount Rushmore of college basketball programs, UNC’s interlocking “NC” logo would likely be engraved on it. UNC’s success in men’s basketball – five national championships, to start – has made the Tar Heels one of the most recognizable college sports teams in the country. Overall, UNC has won 40 NCAA championships in six sports, with 22 of those titles coming in women’s soccer.

Dartmouth’s athletic department isn’t comparable in achievement, but it is in size. UNC fields 28 varsity teams, most of which compete in the ACC at the NCAA Division I level. Dartmouth fields 34 varsity teams – the vast majority of which compete at the Division I level in the Ivy League, along with Harvard, Yale and others. The Dartmouth men’s basketball team last reached the NCAA tournament in 1959. The school also fields equestrian, sailing and squash teams.

Athletic scholarships

UNC’s athletic scholarships cost the university’s athletic department $11.6 million during the 2011-12 fiscal year.

That’s an expense with which Dartmouth is unfamiliar given that Ivy League schools offer no athletic-based scholarships.

North Carolina is a Football Bowl Subdivision (Division 1-A) school. Football scholarships are awarded at every FBS school and, barring scholarship limits imposed by NCAA sanctions, teams usually carry 85 scholarship players per season.

In football, Dartmouth competes as part of the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly NCAA I-AA).

Athletic department budget

UNC’s athletic department generated $72.6 million during the 2011-12 fiscal year. It made more than $20.9 million alone in ticket sales. With a 60,000-seat football stadium and the 21,000-seat Smith Center, ticket revenue isn’t all that hard to come by at UNC.

It’s a more difficult venture at Dartmouth, which plays in a 15,000-seat football stadium and a 2,100-seat basketball arena. As a private school, Dartmouth’s athletic department budget isn’t publicly available. According to Dartmouth’s athletic department website, it has spent more than $100 million on facilities improvements since 2000.

Andrew Carter

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