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The Conference Finance Series Returns

Last year BusinessofCollegeSports.com was founded primarily because of the success of a group of posts called the Conference Finance Series. You can find the posts archived under the Conference Finance Series category.

We’re going to post football and basketball data by conference in alphabetical order. You’ll get the ACC, Big XII and Big East today, Big Ten, C-USA and MAC on Wednesday, MWC, Pac-12 and SEC on Thursday and the Sun Belt, WAC and Independents on Friday. Then, as an early Christmas present, we’ll post some lists ranking the programs on Saturday.

All of the data is from reports each school files with the US Department of Education. It is the only available data for both public and private universities. However, there can be variances in how each school chooses to report data. For example, each school can decide for itself whether to break out television revenue by sport or leave it in a generic revenue category, which causes variances. After speaking with dozens of schools the most common practice appears to be attributing the majority of television revenue to football and a portion to basketball. The most common split is 65/35.

There are also variances from year-to-year, so be careful when comparing this data to last year’s data. For example, Florida State’s football program showed a gain of approximately $14 million from ’09-’10 to ’10-’11. When contacted for comment FSU explained that in ’10-’11 they broke out contributions by sport, which they hadn’t done previously.

Although far from perfect, this data is the only available data for all Division I programs. We just want to make you aware of the possible variances and will let you draw your own conclusions.

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