Ranking SEC Athletic Programs By Revenue, Expenses & (Gasp!) Subsidies

Lots of goodies in USA Today’s recently released study of athletic revenue among all D1 sports programs. I thought it good to narrow the lens onto the SEC programs and see where Arkansas ranks among its conference brethren* in terms of pure, hard cash. So I wrote this piece for Sporting Life Arkansas looking at how well each school has performed in terms of total revenue and in football performance since 1992, when Arkansas joined the SEC.

Turns out, Arkansas is pretty middling in all the rankings, including win percentage (8th highest among the 14 current SEC members).

It stands out in one category, though: the degree to which it’s self sufficient. That is, how much money its athletic program nets when subsidies - money transferred from other parts of the university, student fees or state funds – aren’t considered.

In this category (labeled “Difference” below)  Arkansas ranks #2 for the 2011-12 year, only behind Texas A&M.

Category: 2012 Generated Revenue

What is Means: All the money the athletic program brings in, minus the amount given to the program in the form of
subsidies.

Alabama

$119,438,745

Florida

$116,415,649

LSU

$114,787,786

Texas A&M

$114,502,222

Tennessee

$101,884,286

Auburn

$101,734,643

Arkansas

$97,808,302

Georgia

$88,426,801

Kentucky

$87,546,280

South Carolina

$85,270,084

Mississippi State

$65,828,880

Mississippi

$49,692,777

Missouri

$48,783,721

Category: 2012 Total Expenses

What is means: Everything it takes to keep all sports within an athletic program running, from the salaries of swimming coaches  to the Wendy’s receipts on those football recruiting trips through Houston.

Alabama

$108,204,867

Florida

$105,102,198

LSU

$101,989,116

Tennessee

$101,292,015

Auburn

$96,315,831

Georgia

$88,923,561

South Carolina

$84,963,037

Kentucky

$84,929,819

Arkansas

$82,470,473

Texas A&M

$81,792,118

Mississippi State

$67,926,160

Missouri

$66,980,889

Mississippi

$51,708,064

Category: 2012 Difference

What it means: The difference between a program’s generated revenue and total expenses. This is a strong signal of whether a program is self-sufficient or not. Put another way, in the chart below, Ayn Rand would be proud of those programs in the black and would frown on those in the red.

Texas A&M $32,710,104
Arkansas $15,337,829
LSU $12,798,670
Florida $11,313,451
Alabama $11,233,878
Auburn $5,418,812
Kentucky $2,616,461
Tennessee $592,271
South Carolina 307,047
Georgia ($496,760)
Mississippi ($2,015,287)
Mississippi State ($2,097,280)
Missouri ($18,197,168)

Category: 2012 Subsidy

What is means: Money allocated to the athletic program from other parts of the university, student fees or state funds.

Alabama $5,461,200
Texas A&M $5,200,000
Florida $4,356,457
Auburn $4,216,608
Mississippi State $4,000,000
Georgia $3,243,812
South Carolina $2,338,268
Mississippi $2,166,216
Arkansas $1,949,180
Missouri $1,935,944
Tennessee $1,000,000
Kentucky $827,172
LSU $0

*Vanderbilt isn’t included in the charts above because, as a private university, its financial information isn’t mandated to be disclosed to the public. 

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