Most Profitable College Football Programs: #1 Texas

Last Updated on October 31, 2014

Most Profitable #1I recently wrote a piece for Smarty Cents about the finances of college football programs – where does the money come from (other than television), where does it go and who makes the most?

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to break down the Top 10 most profitable (with nonprofits it’s technically net revenue, not profit, but that doesn’t roll off the tongue) college football programs from 2012-2013.

#1 Texas

Football Revenues

Ticket Sales$34,416,141.00
Student Fees$0.00
Compensation and Benefits Provided by a Third Party (car stipend, country club membership, entertainment allowance, clothing allowance, speaking fees, housing allowance, compensation from camps, radio/tv income, and shoe and apparel income)$0.00
Indirect Institutional Support (the value of facilities and services provided by the university and not charged to athletics)$0.00
Direct Institutional Support (institutional resources provided for athletics and unrestricted funds allocated to athletics by the university)$0.00
Government Support$0.00
NCAA and Conference Distributions (revenue from March Madness, conference television and sponsorship deals, etc.)$15,296,660.00
Broadcast, Television, Radio and Internet Rights (those not covered by conference-wide contracts)$0.00
Program Sales, Concessions, Novelty Sales and Parking$1,520,342.00
Royalties, Licensing, Advertisements and Sponsorships$25,934,289.00
Sport Camps$325,875.00
Endowment and Investment Income$652,874.00

Football Expenses

Athletic Student Aid (i.e., tuition, room and board)$3,800,773.00
Guarantees (amounts paid to visiting teams)$1,900,000.00
Head Coach Salary/Benefits/Bonuses$6,352,777.00
Asst Coaches Salaries/Benefits/Bonuses$4,909,943.00
Support Staff Salaries/Benefits/Bonuses$1,226,799.00
Severance Payments$0.00
Team Travel$1,407,687.00
Equipment, Uniforms and Supplies$477,753.00
Game Expenses$3,960,090.00
Fundraising, Marketing and Promotion$0.00
Sport Camps$246,746.00
Direct Facilities, Maintenance and Rental (costs charged to athletics for building and grounds maintenance, utilities, rental fees, operating leases, equipment repair and maintenance, and debt service)$122,469.00
Spirit Groups (support for bands, cheerleaders, mascots, dancers, etc.)$1,005,600.00
Indirect Facilities and Administrative Support (the value of facilities and services provided by the institution and not charged to athletics)$0.00
Medical Expenses and Medical Insurance$185,836.00
Memberships and Dues$3,878.00


What happened to the $82.3 million in excess revenue from football? Along with excess revenue from men’s basketball, it essentially funded the rest of the athletic department. Sports outside of football and men’s basketball operated at a total loss of $14.8 million, and the department had another $64.4 million in expenses not directly attributable to just one team. Texas also reported contributing $9.2 million to the University of Texas for non-athletic initiatives.

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It’s also worth noting the extraordinarily high amount Texas reports for the “Royalties, Licensing, Advertisements and Sponsorships” category as a result of its deal 20-year, $300 million deal with ESPN for Longhorn Network. As I unveil the rest of the Top 10, you’ll see much lower numbers, because Texas is the only school with its own cable channel.

The data presented here comes from financial reports the schools file with the NCAA. You may notice the numbers vary slightly from the Department of Education data I shared on Smarty Cents, but that’s because the reporting guidelines are slightly different. The reports filed with the NCAA are more accurate, but unfortunately they’re unavailable for private universities, because they aren’t subject to public records requests. Accordingly, I created the Top 10 list using Department of Education data (which does include private universities), but I’m sharing with you the more detailed data from the reports filed with the NCAA.

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