In the debate over the amount universities should spend on athletics, one of the common arguments of its proponents is that athletics departments are self-sustaining or even profitable. A new study by the Delta Cost Project shows that’s pretty much a myth, and that most FBS schools’ athletic departments require some subsidy from the larger institution:

Three out of four of the athletic departments of the 97 public institutions in the FBS analysis generated less money than they spent in any year between 2005 and 2010, according to the report. Athletic subsidies to offset revenue shortfalls are typically funded by student fees, and state and institutional funds.

A handful of schools at the top of Division I actually do have profitable athletics departments, the study notes, yet “about two thirds of these profitable FBS departments still received athletic subsidies in 2010.”