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Highest Athletic Department Net Income: SEC

Last Updated on March 25, 2012

The last conference to be covered in’s look into athletic departments with the highest net income is the SEC.  Tomorrow, will rank the top-50 most athletic departments with the highest net income, as well as the athletic departments which generate the most revenue and those with the greatest expenses.

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
Ole Miss$48,916,161.00$48,916,161.00$0.00
Mississippi State$49,893,731.00$43,587,148.00$6,306,583.00
South Carolina$83,704,667.00$82,941,941.00$762,726.00

In terms of SEC athletic department net income, for anyone who is familiar with the conference, there really aren’t any surprises.  Perhaps the only surprise, is that one athletic department turned zero net income in 2010-11:  Ole Miss.  Ole Miss generated the lowest amount of revenue in the SEC, but had the second-lowest expenses (Mississippi State’s were lower).  Outside of Ole Miss, every other athletic department, save for South Carolina and Tennessee, generated at least $1 million in net income.  Alabama’s athletic department generated the greatest amount of net income in 2010-11, with $31,684,872.00

In 2010-11, three SEC athletic departments had expenses exceeding $100 million:  Auburn, Florida and Tennessee.  In terms of revenue, five SEC athletic departments generated over $100 million in revenue:  Alabama, Auburn, Florida, LSU and Tennessee.



  1. Ray

    March 20, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Where are these exact numbers coming from?
    What about the massive amount of donations these schools are getting?
    Also, if a school made $50 millions but then spent $40 million on more athletic expenditures like new football complexes, outdoor facilities, etc, are you still showing them profits at only $10 million? These and other power house schools are going to use the revenues and profits in a way that only expands their football and increases their fan base. There is zero reason to hold on to any profits. I fully expect schools from the SEC to spend most of their money on projects directly related to revenues, which would be football and basketball.

    Also, how can you say schools are showing a $0 profit? There is no way it would be $0. Some of these schools you have shown this week are in the red. Also, if donations for the athletic programs are not included in these numbers, then what’s the point of showing these numbers?

    A school could lose money each year but if their donor, on a yearly basis donate millions, then that should be included as part of this week long view at schools and their profits.

    I would just like more information as to these numbers and where they come from and most importantly what is missing, such as donations. Is there a way to show those numbers?


  2. Jake Mongoose

    March 21, 2012 at 11:15 am

    Auburn’s net profit would would have been $180,000 higher, but….

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