Sunday, August 4, 2013

College Football Spending/Revenue, Part 2

Posted By on Sun, Aug 4, 2013 at 1:21 PM

After looking at football expenses and revenues for the USA Today preseason Top 10, I was curious to see the numbers for the 12 teams that will play the University of Memphis this season.

Duke, Cincinnati, Louisville, and South Florida made money. Connecticut and Central Florida lost money, and the rest, including Memphis, reported breaking even or virtually even.

Not surprisingly, the gap between the elites and the struggling teams in Division 1-A such as Memphis is huge — the bigs spend two or three times as much and make tens of millions of dollars in profits. The only Top 10 team on the Memphis schedule this year is Louisville, which is the model for Memphis as it attempts to be a breakout program. Memphis has enough ingredients — big stadium, southern location, Top 50 television market, major-league status, wealthy boosters — to sustain, as Frederick Exley wrote in "A Fan's Notes," the illusion that fame is possible.

The figures from the U.S. Department of Education are for the 2011-2012 academic year. Expenses come first, followed by revenues and, in some cases, a comment or two.

Memphis: $12,983,962, $12,983,962. Tigers spend and earn $7.5 million on men's basketball.

Duke: $20,480,154, $25,373,768. Duke spent $16 million and earned $25.6 million on bball.

Middle Tennessee: $7,629,932, $7,629,932.

Arkansas State: $4,341,626, $4,341,626. Under former coach Hugh Freeze, Tigers' nemesis did more with less than just about anyone.

Central Florida: $13,636,867, $12,211,638. Lost money.

Houston: $8,250,249, $8,250,249. Also-ran and relatively small spender in a big wealthy market in Texas.

SMU: $13,163,600, $13,163,599. Not a typo, the Mustangs lost a buck.

Cincinnati: $12,594,857, $15,322,430. Money maker.

Tennessee-Martin: $2,599,061, $2,699,094. Low budget Division 1-AA school made $100,000.

South Florida: $12,609,350, $16,832,236. Nice profit in crowded Florida market.

Louisville: $18,769,539, $23,756,955. Not bad, but men's basketball made $42.4 million on $15.4 million spending.

Temple: $16,961,995, $16,961,995.

U. Conn: $14,445,521, $12,910,583. Lost money playing some big boys.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post gave the wrong location for the University of South Florida in Tampa.

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