Highest Athletic Department Net Income: Big East

Last Updated on March 25, 2012

Next up in BusinessofCollegeSports.com’s look into the most profitable athletic departments is the Big East.  Yesterday, BusinessofCollegeSports.com showed you the net income of athletic departments in the ACC, Big 12 and Big Ten conferences.  Today, we’ll wrap up the conferences.  Tomorrow, we will show you the top-50 most athletic departments with the highest net income.

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.


SchoolTotal Athletic Department RevenuesTotal Athletic Department ExpensesNet Income
Notre Dame$94,507,919.00$75,360,209.00$19,147,710.00
St. John’s$32,289,136.00$32,289,136.00$0.00
Seton Hall$21,785,714.00$21,785,714.00$0.00

Out of all of the BCS AQ conferences, in 2010-11, the Big East had the greatest number of athletic departments which turned a net income of zero.  Twelve of the Big East’s sixteen athletic departments turned zero net income in 2010-11.

The four Big East athletic departments which turned a positive net income in 2010-11 were:  UConn, Louisville, Notre Dame and Syracuse.

Of these four schools, the largest net income was enjoyed by Notre Dame, which it should be noted, is independent in football.  Notre Dame enjoyed net income of $19,147,710.00 in 2010-11.

While Notre Dame’s revenues exceeded those of Louisville, Louisville had greater expenses.  Louisville generated $87,736,320.00 in revenue and had expenditures of $83,783,719.00 in 2010-11.  This allowed Louisville’s athletic department to enjoy a net income of $3,952,601.00.

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  • Jeff Roy
    March 20, 2012

    What’s with all this break even nonsense? Twelve schools managing an eight figure budget, and each neatly resolves itself to a 0.00 bottom line? This reeks of a “nod nod, wink wink, say no more” admission that if the athletic department loses money no one must know. Could anything make it more obvious? I wonder how the losses are hidden, or which department at the school is forced to absorb them. Or do they tap the endowment fund until the numbers zero out? Why does the Dept. of Education permit this?