Does money matter…

Unlike most people I love this stuff…the stuff I am referring to is that of athletic department budgets. This is the stuff that sets OU apart from the other guys in the Big 12. Back in the day we used unlimited scholarships allowed by the NCAA and supplied by university funds to create a built in advantage.

The NCAA tried to level the playing field by creating scholarship limits. It has taken a while, but big time football schools have found a way to slant the playing field once again.

It takes money to hire and keep the best coaches, build the best facilities and create winners in all sports. OU has become a perfect model as OU has used an infusion of funds in all sports to create four National Championships this spring.

Each year USA Today creates a list of the most successful athletic departments in the country. I have shared the USAToday revenue list at the bottom of the page. I have examined the list and I have come up with some thoughts…

First…six of the top ten athletic departments are located in the SEC. That’s right the rich get richer. The Big Ten has two as does the Big 12. I do find that the ACC and Pac 12 missing from the top ten list as conspicuous.

Second…Texas A&M has proven once again that their move from the Big 12 to the SEC was a good one. These guys have come out of nowhere to overtake their instate rival Texas. It also means that Kevin Sumlin has one more year in College Station to get ‘er done.

Third…West Virginia has proven that its move from the Big East to the Big 12 has paid off. The Mountaineers have taken off financially even without decent facilities.

Fourth…Texas appears to have leveled off. Yes, the Longhorns are still ranked 2nd nationally, but their total revenue has dropped from previous years and their hated rival, the Aggies have taken their top spot on the big board.

Without a Thanksgiving Day game to fall back on the Longhorns must now beat their Ags in the boardroom. If a Big 12 affiliation cannot make this happen, expect UT to find another way.

Fifth…David Boren and Joe Castiglione have done an incredible job of creating an athletic powerhouse in Norman. Before Boren and Castiglione, the athletic program was drowning in red ink. Today, the program is the 6th wealthiest in the country.

Unlike other universities, the athletic department takes no taxpayer dollars and the Sooners donate millions each year to academics.

As we know athletic programs other than football do not pay their own way in ticket sales. These programs can however pay their own way through donors that contribute funds to their favorite sporting team.

Sixth…Kansas is scary. Even without a football program, KU generated over $91 million in 2015-16. Once they get their new stadium, this total could easily double. Bill Self will finally get his deserved raise.

Seventh…one must wonder what is going on in Stillwater these days. OSU has gone from 9th to 35th in one year. Then again, this may be the off year for T. Boone. For tax purposes he tends to make his big donation every other year. Like his son, Mike Gundy, he is smarter than he looks…

Eighth…Texas Tech and OSU have something in common.   That can’t stay afloat without tax dollars.   Tech gets 5% of their total athletic department income from Texas taxpayers. OSU tops this amount and leads the Power Conferences with its 9% of from the Oklahoma legislature.

This is one more reason to hate Oklahoma politicians. These clowns can generate almost $9 million dollars a year for Aggie football, but not a penny for teacher pay raises.

Revenue rankings for Top ten athletic departments in America…

  1. Texas A&M $194,388,450
  2. Texas $187,981,158
  3. Ohio State $170,789,765
  4. Alabama $164,009,745
  5. Michigan $163,850,616
  6. Oklahoma $150,373,216
  7. LSU $141,651,460
  8. Florida $141,441,109
  9. Tennessee $140,448,955
  10. Auburn $140,070,590

Big 12 athletic departments…

  1. Texas $187,981,158
  2. Oklahoma $150,373,216
  3. West Virginia $105,140,368
  4. Oklahoma State $93,672,676
  5. Kansas $90,658,829
  6. Texas Tech $82,996,321
  7. Iowa State $78,355,500
  8. Kansas Sate $77,936,600

Note: Baylor and TCU are private universities and therefore are not required to publically disclose financial information. Same goes for Notre Dame. I would love to see Notre Dame’s financial statement with its NBC national television network.

 

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