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Alabama Leads The SEC In Athletic Revenue

The good folks at USA Today have put out their latest look at the dollars being spent and brought in by all the NCAA Division I athletic programs across the country.  What they’ve found is that Texas continues to be the richest program in the country (and getting richer)… overall schools are spending more on athletics than they’re making…  and Alabama led the way in Southeastern Conference revenue last year.

The database is wildly interesting, but it’s not quite perfect.  First, only public schools are required to share their expenses and revenues so Vanderbilt and other private schools are not included.  Second, schools fudge numbers, cook books, or any other cliches you can imagine.  There is no definitive number that can be used to compare School X to School Y because the two schools might tally up their numbers in totally different ways.

Having said that, these numbers are about as close as one can get to actually determining the health — or illness — of an athletic department in a given year.

In the chart below, we’ll use USA Today’s data to show you the total revenue, total expenses, and total net profit for each SEC program in 2011.  But remember, Vandy isn’t included and Missouri and Texas A&M were making Big 12 money in all of the years studied:


   Rank    School    Total Revenue 2011    Total Expenses 2011    Total Net Profit 2011
   1    Alabama    124,498,616    105,068,152    19,430,464
   2    Florida    123,514,257    107,157,831    16,356,426
   3    LSU    107,259,352    91,796,925    15,462,427
   4    Arkansas    91,768,112    79,392,988    12,375,124
   5    Georgia    92,341,067    80,759,498    11,581,569
   6    Texas A&M    87,296,532    78,310,805    8,985,727
   7    Miss. State    58,981,769    51,588,743    7,393,026
   8    Tennessee    104,368,992    97,580,406    6,788,586
   9    Auburn    103,982,441    100,497,784    3,484,657
   10    S. Carolina    83,813,226    80,525,711    3,287,515
   11    Ole Miss    49,180,892    47,109,301    2,071,591
   12    Kentucky    84,878,311    82,840,006    2,038,305
   13    Missouri    64,146,530    64,160,358    -13,828


Again, these numbers can be doctored by the schools to appear any way they like.  In several years we’ve seen SEC programs report a net profit of exactly $0 for a year.  Maybe they pulled a Michael Scott and spent their surplus at the last minute, but we think it’s more likely they’re tweaking things as they see fit.


Looking at Missouri’s net athletic profit in 2011 — according to USA Today’s numbers — it’s not to hard to figure out why the school is jumping to the SEC this year.

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