Ohio State’s Football Budget

Last Updated on December 2, 2020

To kickoff Ohio State Week on the BusinessofCollegeSports.com 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
Concessions1,960,000 1,715,000
Season Tix – Fac/Staff6,868,000 6,009,500
Season Tix – Students5,002,500 4,785,000
Public Ticket Sales30,310,760 25,605,040
Postage & Handling0 0
Television10,700,000 11,415,300
Broadcasting1,296,050 1,246,050
Guarantees2,850,000 3,909,000
Miscellaneous0 0
Revenue Total51,839,260 48,761,850
A & P3,447,937 3,707,931
CCS97,455 109,537
Specials331,800 322,000
Grad Students29,743 45,844
Additional Pay0 0
Student Wages32,000 32,000
Benefits1,208,582 1,383,456
Benefits Fee Waivers48,000 72,000
Clinical Supplies112,625 47,500
General Supplies25,000 25,000
Video Supplies18,000 21,150
Clothing & Equipment173,400 173,400
Postage35,000 35,000
Communications69,800 69,800
Equipment Rep & Maint53,000 59,300
Building & Grounds Rep & Mnt25,000 25,000
Equipment Rental6,000 8,945
Space Rental4,500 6,300
Copy Services27,500 27,500
Photo Services25,000 25,000
Printing51,000 51,000
Recruiting484,000 438,500
Misc Travel129,500 129,500
Team Travel750,310 890,735
Purchased Services85,250 85,250
Game Day Expenses1,120,000 925,000
Dues & Memberships1,800 1,800
Subscriptions2,200 2,200
Meals470,290 462,421
Banquet29,000 30,875
Lodging204,328 224,084
Shipping & freight0 0
Officials118,650 104,450
Grant In Aid3,307,000 3,413,000
Capital Equipment51,860 84,658
Expense Total12,575,530 13,040,136
Net Profit39,263,730 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 Dosh

    Kristi A. Dosh is the founder of BusinessofCollegeSports.com 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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  • Joe Blow
    May 31, 2011

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

    • Kristi Dosh
      May 31, 2011

      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.

  • Go Blue
    June 1, 2011

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

    • Kristi Dosh
      June 1, 2011

      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

        Are visitor guarantees only for non-conference opponents?

      • Kristi Dosh
        July 1, 2011

        To my knowledge, yes.

  • Chris
    June 9, 2011

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

  • mbidinger
    July 16, 2011

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

    • Kristi Dosh
      July 16, 2011

      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.

  • Danielle
    December 4, 2011

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

  • Essam
    December 9, 2011

    Where Can I find the Source to these Numbers??

    • Nazerita
      May 21, 2012

      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