Highest Athletic Department Net Income: Big Ten

Next up in BusinessofCollegeSports.com’s investigation into the athletic departments with the highest net income is the Big Ten.  Earlier today, financial data for ACC and Big 12 athletic departments was posted.  Tomorrow, we’ll investigate the Big East, Pac-12 and SEC.  On Wednesday, a list of the athletic departments with the highest net income will be published.

The data was obtained from the Department of Education and is for 2010-11.  The data from the Department of Education is by no means perfect.  Throughout this series, net income was calculated by subtracting the “grand total expenses” from the “grand total revenues” that the athletic department reported to the Department of Education.  Expenses in this instance included:  head and assistant coach salaries, athletically related student aid, recruiting expenses, operating (game-day expenses) and “not allocated” expenses.  The expenses faced by athletic departments, however, may be greater than those reported in this snapshot provided by the Department of Education.  For example, an athletic department may have capital expenses outside of those expenses included in the report.  This all being said, this data is the only data publicly available for both public and private institutions.  Thus, it at least provides some insight into athletic department revenues, expenses, and net income before taking into consideration additional expenses, like capital projects.

School Total Athletic Department Revenue Total Athletic Department Expenses Net Income
Illinois 57,539,367.00 55,723,771.00 1,815,596.00
Indiana 70,172,641.00 64,878,825.00 5,293,816.00
Iowa 92,903,555.00 87,607,487.00 5,296,068.00
Michigan 122,486,490.00 95,836,991.00 26,649,499.00
Michigan State 80,963,182.00 67,450,913.00 13,512,269.00
Minnesota 78,924,683.00 78,924,683.00 0.00
Nebraska 83,679,756.00 78,509,148.00 5,170,608.00
Northwestern 56,214,293.00 56,214,293.00 0.00
Ohio State 131,815,819.00 113,184,855.00 18,630,964.00
Penn State 116,118,026.00 84,498,339.00 31,619,687.00
Purdue 66,066,303.00 59,293,193.00 6,773,110.00
Wisconsin 93,594,766.00 92,939,345.00 655,421.00

In 2010-11, two Big Ten athletic departments turned zero net income:  Minnesota and Northwestern.  Each of these athletic departments, however, generated over $55 million in revenue.

Save for Minnesota, Northwestern and Wisconsin, in 2010-11, every other Big Ten athletic department generated over $1 million in net income.  However, Michigan and Penn State led the way in terms of net income generated.  Michigan generated net income of $26,649,499.00, while Penn State enjoyed a net income of $31,619,687.00.

Interestingly enough, however, is that Ohio State generated the greatest amount of revenue of any Big Ten athletic department.  The Ohio State athletic department generated revenue of $131,815,819.00.  However, Ohio State’s athletic department also had the highest amount of expenses in the conference, at $113,184,855.00.

11 thoughts on “Highest Athletic Department Net Income: Big Ten”

  1. So far no athletic department has posted a loss? At least according to the Dept of Ed’s data? That is pretty suspicious, no? I worked for Iowa State’s AD Dept a few years ago and I know for a fact we posted a loss each year. I think someone is fudging the numbers perhaps? Especially when there are all the warnings about AD’s in trouble yet according to these numbers we have a small few conveniently breaking exactly even but most of the schools are in the black? Perhaps the data should exclude any extra funds from the academic side of the university and should only include the direct financial figures generated by the AD’s themselves? That would give us a more accurate picture of their self-sufficiency.

  2. Iowa, Illinois and Purdue need hockey teams


    The Big Ten needs to remove itself from NCAA Baseball to start a later baseball season.

  3. When you say “generate revenue,” you include donations and student fees right? And expenditures exclude expenditures that occur under other budget lines, so, for example, if the campus police pay millions in overtime on football and basketball game days, that doesn’t show up on the AD expenditure list right? There’s lots of ways to count.

    In any case, that’s profit for the athletic department, which most ADs don’t share with, say, the medical school.

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