Most Profitable College Football Programs: #4 Florida

Last Updated on October 31, 2014

Most Profitable #4I 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?

For 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. I’ve already posted #1#2 and #3.

#4 Florida

Football Revenues

Ticket Sales$21,390,665.00
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)$200,000.00
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$16,815,708.00
Broadcast, Television, Radio and Internet Rights (those not covered by conference-wide contracts)$0.00
Program Sales, Concessions, Novelty Sales and Parking$1,060,624.00
Royalties, Licensing, Advertisements and Sponsorships$825,582.00
Sport Camps$172,094.00
Endowment and Investment Income$0.00

Football Expenses

Athletic Student Aid (i.e., tuition, room and board)$2,490,319.00
Guarantees (amounts paid to visiting teams)$2,700,000.00
Head Coach Salary/Benefits/Bonuses$3,063,405.00
Asst Coaches Salaries/Benefits/Bonuses$3,899,761.00
Support Staff Salaries/Benefits/Bonuses$1,475,809.00
Severance Payments$146,643.00
Team Travel$3,525,976.00
Equipment, Uniforms and Supplies$602,848.00
Game Expenses$4,024,092.00
Fundraising, Marketing and Promotion$223,983.00
Sport Camps$171,209.00
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)$928,616.00
Spirit Groups (support for bands, cheerleaders, mascots, dancers, etc.)$847,035.00
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$279,007.00
Memberships and Dues$0.00


If you’ve done the math, you noticed football produced excess revenue of $49.1 million. What happens to that money? Along with excess revenue from men’s basketball, it essentially funded the rest of the athletic department, which includes 523 total student athletes. Sports outside of football and men’s basketball operated at a total loss of $46.7 million, and the department had another $47 million in expenses not directly attributable to just one team, including nearly $16 million in facilities expenses (rent, utilities, maintenance, etc.).

Florida athletics also reported contributing $7.6 million to the University of Florida for non-athletic initiatives. However, thanks to $28 million in revenue not directly attributable to one sport, including nearly $6 million in endowment and investment income, and almost $16 million from television and radio (not generated at the conference level but from UF’s individual deals) and royalties/licensing revenue, the athletic department had overall net revenue of $15.5 million after its contribution to the University.

So, Florida athletics has excess revenue of $15.5 million just padding its bank account, right? Not really. It’s important to note $11.3 million of the revenue reported for 2012-2013 was generated from capital contributions – in other words, fundraising campaigns specifically for facilities projects. According to audited financials, those capital contributions were raised for the renovation of the Stephen C. O’Connell Center, the “Gateway of Champions” football front door project, renovation of the Carse swim dive facility, and improvements to the lacrosse stadium and various other projects.

Need Florida football tickets?

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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  • Kristi Dosh

    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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