Interesting Tidbits from Ohio State’s Athletic Budget

Last Updated on June 21, 2011

Today is the final day of The Ohio State Week on So far we’ve taken a look at the football program’s line item budget, the full athletic department budget and how recruiting dollars are allocated across all sports at Ohio State.

I want to close out The Ohio State Week by sharing a number of interesting tidbits from the nearly 100 pages of athletic department budget:

  • Every single sport at Ohio State is receiving an overall increase in their expense budget for 2011-2012. The percentage of increase ranges from 0.9% (Women’s Cross Country) to 9.4% (Women’s Soccer). This is despite a predicted 1.5% expected reduction in revenue. As discussed previously this week, I portion of this is due to there being one fewer home football game this season, which is projected to cost Ohio State about $3 million.
  • It takes over $22 million in funds from the Buckeye Club, other fundraising, interest income from their endowment, royalty income and transfers from reserves to balance the budget.
  • Total coaching and staff salaries, wages and benefits are over $44 million. The projected $35 million profit from football (which accounts for 73% of all revenue generated directly from sports) isn’t even enough to cover that one category of expenses in the athletic department.
  • Over $25 million is paid back to the University for items like grants-in-aid and payments to the Office of Financial Aid and Office of Academic Affairs. The athletic department also provides $100,000 to the School of Music (in addition to funding the operating budget for the band). An even larger donation goes toward library renovation with $1 million every year for nine years.
  • The athletic department funds a Student-Athlete Support Services Office at approximately $2.4 million per year. I was happy to see this one after reading numerous articles over the past several months about student-athletes being admitted to schools they weren’t academically prepared for and becoming a drain on academic resources. None of those articles mentioned that athletic departments often fund these types of centers for their student-athletes. I’ve got a budget for a top SEC program to show you next week and they fund a similar service.
  • Over $5 million is sent back to the University for the athletic department’s share of overhead, which covers everything from insurance to payroll services to purchasing and accounting.
  • Football and men’s basketball are projected to increase television revenue in 2011-2012 by over $1 million.
  • Out of 36 varsity teams only 18 produce any revenue: football, men’s basketball, baseball, men’s gymnastics, men’s ice hockey, men’s lacrosse, men’s soccer, men’s track, men’s volleyball, wrestling, women’s basketball, softball, women’s gymnastics, women’s track, women’s volleyball, women’s soccer, women’s lacrosse, and women’s ice hockey. Football and men’s basketball account for 98.3% of all the revenue generated by teams.
  • Football and men’s basketball are the only sports who turn a net profit. 


  • Kristi Dosh

    Kristi A. Dosh is the founder of and has served as a sports business analyst and contributor for outlets such as Forbes, ESPN, SportsBusiness Journal, Bleacher Report, SB Nation and more. She is also the author of a book on the business of college football, Saturday Millionaires. Kristi is a sought-after consultant and speaker on topics related to the business of college sports and a former practicing attorney. Click to learn more

    View all posts

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    May 23, 2012

    Pittsburgh is playing at Central Florida giinvg 10 1/2 right now I love Pitt to cover big. They are a lot better team and play a better schedule. I was 7-1 last week in College, and hope to chalk up another tomorrow night. Good Luck!