ABSTRACT Clay Pfeifler: An Analysis of Athlete-Centric Expenses in NCAA Power 5 Athletic Departments Today, the NCAA’s pillar of amateurism is under attack and the debate over paying players wields fierce advocates on both sides. Are athletes exploited by a greedy NCAA, or are they the beneficiaries of tremendous opportunity? Absent in the debate is an illustration of actual expenses related to athlete well-being. This study surveyed Power 5 institutions on 2016-17 expenses across eight defined categories related to athlete welfare. 21 institutions indicated that an average of about $29.9 million, or 29.5% of total athletics expenses, go towards those categories. Departments spend an average of $58,840 per athlete across those categories, and this study estimates that a full out-of-state athletic scholarship at is valued at an average of $78,045 annually. With greater detail than done before, this study provides a grounded expense analysis for use in discussion and policy-making related to student-athlete well-being, compensation, and any pay-for-play model within the Power 5.