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Ohio State’s Football Budget

To kickoff Ohio State Week on the I want to start by looking at the line item football budget. Check back each day this week for more Ohio State numbers, including recruiting expenses and overall athletic department budget. 

Below you’ll see numbers for both the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 school years. These numbers were obtained directly from the Ohio State University athletic department. Please note this 2011-2012 budget was prepared before the events of this past weekend, so you can expect some changes, especially with regards to coaches salaries. Also, decisions on raises for all personnel have not yet been made.

One thing to note as you take a look is that Ohio State has 7 home games in 2011-2012 compared to 8 in 2010-2011. Interesting to see how that impacts the overall budget both in terms of revenue and expense. Be sure to read after the chart to see how some of these numbers fit into the athletic budget as a whole.

  Budget   Budget
  2010-2011   2011-2012
Visitor Guarantees -7,148,050   -5,923,040
Concessions 1,960,000   1,715,000
Season Tix – Fac/Staff 6,868,000   6,009,500
Season Tix – Students 5,002,500   4,785,000
Public Ticket Sales 30,310,760   25,605,040
Postage & Handling 0   0
Television 10,700,000   11,415,300
Broadcasting 1,296,050   1,246,050
Guarantees 2,850,000   3,909,000
Miscellaneous 0   0
Revenue Total 51,839,260   48,761,850
A & P 3,447,937   3,707,931
CCS 97,455   109,537
Specials 331,800   322,000
Grad Students 29,743   45,844
Additional Pay 0   0
Student Wages 32,000   32,000
Benefits 1,208,582   1,383,456
Benefits Fee Waivers 48,000   72,000
Clinical Supplies 112,625   47,500
General Supplies 25,000   25,000
Video Supplies 18,000   21,150
Clothing & Equipment 173,400   173,400
Postage 35,000   35,000
Communications 69,800   69,800
Equipment Rep & Maint 53,000   59,300
Building & Grounds Rep & Mnt 25,000   25,000
Equipment Rental 6,000   8,945
Space Rental 4,500   6,300
Copy Services 27,500   27,500
Photo Services 25,000   25,000
Printing 51,000   51,000
Recruiting 484,000   438,500
Misc Travel 129,500   129,500
Team Travel 750,310   890,735
Purchased Services 85,250   85,250
Game Day Expenses 1,120,000   925,000
Dues & Memberships 1,800   1,800
Subscriptions 2,200   2,200
Meals 470,290   462,421
Banquet 29,000   30,875
Lodging 204,328   224,084
Shipping & freight 0   0
Officials 118,650   104,450
Grant In Aid 3,307,000   3,413,000
Capital Equipment 51,860   84,658
Expense Total 12,575,530   13,040,136
Net Profit 39,263,730   35,721,714

A few of the categories probably need clarification. A&P is Administration and Professional staff salaries. This category includes the salaries of all coaches. CCS is pay for Civil Service Personnel, who are support staff belonging to a union. Specials can cover a number of items from special event staff to incentives that may be paid to coaches as a part of their contract.

I think it’s interesting to see all the expenses associated with running a top-notch football program like Ohio State’s. I won’t comment on many of the categories, but I wanted to let you see them all. As I noted earlier, Ohio State has one less home game for the 2011 season. Amazing what a difference one game can make. The loss of that one home game costs Ohio State roughly $3 million!

As you can see, the two biggest expenses are salaries and grants-in-aid (payments back to the university for scholarships). Administrative and Professional salaries for football account for 18% of all salaries in that category in the athletic department, and grants-in-aid for football are nearly 22% of all aid granted by the athletic department. Football has the greatest number of athletes participating, so this should be no surprise. 

I often hear fans lament the great amount of money spent on football compared to other sports. However, football is the one sport where you can likely spend more to make more. Revenue from football accounts for 73% of all revenue generated by individual sports at Ohio State, and football is one of only two sports who turn a net profit. Later this week I’ll show you how the profit generated by football supports the athletic department as a whole, proving the investment in football is a wise one. Until then, you can read my previous piece on how “other sports” are funded.


  • 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



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  2. Joe Blow

    May 31, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    How can A&P be $3.7M when Tressel’s salary was about $3.5M?

    • Kristi Dosh

      May 31, 2011 at 5:53 pm

      I am told that only his base salary is included under football’s A&P, which would have been $652,000. The rest is included under a separate expense sheet in the full athletic department budget I have.

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  4. Go Blue

    June 1, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Why does revenue add up to well over $65 million and is only listed at $51million?

    • Kristi Dosh

      June 1, 2011 at 1:37 pm

      Visitor guarantees are listed under revenue but act as an expense against revenue. Subtract that number from the total you have and you’ll get the correct total.

      • Michael Summey

        June 30, 2011 at 12:19 pm

        Are visitor guarantees only for non-conference opponents?

      • Kristi Dosh

        July 1, 2011 at 7:52 am

        To my knowledge, yes.

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  8. Chris

    June 9, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Where do things like jersey & other memorabelia sales and things like using players likeness in video games and the like?

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  11. mbidinger

    July 16, 2011 at 10:28 am

    not even close to real number, does not include royalties from jersey’s pennants, blankets, flags, lamps, etc.

    • Kristi Dosh

      July 16, 2011 at 11:13 am

      Licensing and royalties aren’t in the football budget. You can’t attribute a lamp sale to the football program. There is a line item for licensing and royalties in the overall athletic department budget.

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  13. Danielle

    December 4, 2011 at 8:24 am

    Great article on Ohio State sports revenue! Quick question, is bowl game revenue included in the totals reported above? Thanks!

  14. Essam

    December 9, 2011 at 1:46 am

    Where Can I find the Source to these Numbers??

    • Nazerita

      May 21, 2012 at 12:44 am

      the cream of the big ten? wasnt that supposed to be you guys? oh shit your paogrrm is dirty.bama would have stomped the shit out of anybody they played dumbass lrn2footballi still dont see how a team can finish 11-2 and be overrated, especially looking at the one team we beat that you couldnt.i lold at the retarded sphincter comment, usually when trolls make comparisons like that, they actually make sense.and again, youre implying that i dont do my own research

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