Abstract. The effect of intercollegiate athletics on alumni contributions to the academic endowment of an institution is analyzed empirically. Using time series data from a representative National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I university, a contribution function is estimated which incorporates various measures of success in the major sports programs. After controlling for the population of alumni, student enrollment, state appropriations, and per capita income, the results indicate that contributions are positively related to the overall winning percentage of the intercollegiate sports program. Post season play is not found to be a significant determinant of donations to academics while television appearances are positively related to contributions. The results also suggest that sanctions imposed by the NCAA for rules violation may slightly reduce contributions to academics.