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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

All About the Benjamins

I came across this article from (via the good folks at Get the Picture) today that should give some pause to any team looking to hire Mike Leach away from Texas Tech.

"According to information schools are required by the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act (EADA) to submit to the U.S. Department of Education, Texas Tech outspent Oklahoma by $4.3 million to operate its football program between the 2002-03 and 2006-07 school years. An examination of the football revenues and expenses of the top 20 schools in this week's BCS standings showed that the Red Raiders spent $77,437,091 on football during that span. Oklahoma spent $73,100,833."

So if Texas Tech is really spending that kind of dough, how much of the Red Raiders' winning ways are accounted for by dollars rather than good coaching? That's really a rhetorical question, as I'm not nearly smart enough to run through all the aggregate numbers and separate dollars from wins and losses, but suffice it to say it's a safe bet that the more resources you can afford, the better you'll do in the standings.

Of course, reading this managed to pique my curiosity, so I investigated the EADA stats a bit further to break down the money spent in the SEC, and the results were pretty interesting.

I will caution you that accounting practices may vary from one school to the next (particularly from public to private school) so direct comparisons aren't completely accurate, but the numbers clearly show a few trends. The 2006 football season was the most recent data available, so things may have swung a bit since than, too. Regardless, here's what I came up with:

%chg rev %chg exp
total exp
total rev
Auburn 52.9 81.6 $72.0 m
$186.2 m
$114.1 m
$2.8 m
LSU 25.4 6.9 $58.3 m $165.7 m
$107.4 m
$2.2 m
Miss St
3.6 -1.5 $26.4 m
$46.3 m
$19.9 m
$5.3 m
Alabama 33.5 80.6 $63.9 m
$180.4 m $116.5 m
$4.9 m
Tenn -33.2 8.4 $52.5 m
$134.9 m
$82.4 m
$2.5 m
Arkansas 53.8 80.6 $60.1 m
$125.6 m
$65.5 m
$3.8 m
Florida 37.9 64.6 $65.2 m
$193.1 m
$127.9 m
$2.9 m
Georgia 41.4 86.5 $52.2 m $211.2 m
$158.9 m
$2.4 m
Kentucky 10.7 23.8 $35.5 m
$81.1 m
$45.6 m
$4.4 m
Ole Miss
4.8 -6.5 $28.6 m
$66.9 m $38.3 m
$2.2 m
S Carolina
188.8 56.6 $42.5 m
$107.8 m
$65.4 m
$3.0 m
Vandy 13.3 8.8 $50.9 m
$58.2 m
$7.3 m
$8.5 m

(%chg exp is percent change in expenses from 2003 to 2006. %chg rev is percent change in revenue. Total expenses, revenue, profit and $ per win are all based on combined numbers from 2003 through 2006. You can look up all info HERE.)

A few interesting notes:

-- South Carolina has had by far the largest increase in revenue over the four-year span, growing by 189 percent. The next closest is Arkansas, which saw revenues increase by 54 percent. Call it the Spurrier effect.

-- The only team in the SEC to see revenues drop since 2003 was Tennessee, which collected 33 percent less in 2006 than it did in 2003. I guess you can call that the Fulmer effect.

-- Arkansas, Auburn, Alabama and Georgia have all seen their expenses rise the most. Each school has increased its football expenses from 2003 to 2006 by at least 80 percent. Georgia was actually the highest, showing an 86 percent increase over the four-year span.

-- If you subtract outliers in Vandy, Kentucky and Mississippi State -- all of whom have suffered through multiple one- and two-win seasons during the '03-'06 run, the team to spend the most money per conference victory was Alabama, which dropped a cool $4,921,000 per SEC win from 2003-06.

-- Surprisingly, the team to spend its money the most efficiently in terms of wins and losses over that span was Ole Miss, which dropped just a shade over $2.1 mill for each conference win.

-- Seven of the 12 SEC teams spent between $2.1 and 3.1 million per SEC win over that span.

-- Want to know why football is such a big deal for SEC schools? Curious why Tennessee doesn't mind spending a few million to buy out the rest of Phil Fulmer's contract? Here's a good answer: Five of the 12 SEC teams had a combined profit (total revenue - total expenses) for their football programs of at least $100 million over that four-year span (Auburn, LSU, Alabama, Florida and Georgia).

No SEC came close to losing money on its football program. In fact, Vandy's $7.3 million profit was by far the lowest. Every other school grossed at least $20 million from 2003-06.

-- Again, I caution that all accounting practices are not equal, but guess which school earned the most revenue on its football program from 2003-06? It's Georgia, which brought in a cool $211 million over that span.

-- The team that spent the most? Auburn, at $72 million.

-- Oh, and just for fun: Tennessee spent $14 million on football in 2006. Wyoming spent $4 million. The score in 2008: Wyoming 13, Tennessee 7.

* If anyone wants to see the full spreadsheet with all this info, I'll be happy to pass it along via email. There were a lot more numbers than what's listed in the table above. I just tried to make it as concise as possible.


Lucid Idiocy said...

That's some pretty sweet calculating.

Does that include debt service on the stadium expansion? And, if so, did we restructure that during the period?

Because it's hard to understand an 86 percent increase in spending over a 3 year period.

David Hale said...

Technically capital expenditures are not taken into account, but as I said, each school has its own accounting practices, so it varies. But I imagine much of that stuff is calculated into the total expenditures. There's a separate category for operating expenses which I did not calculate just because I didn't have the time.

Lucid Idiocy said...

This has got off-season take-out piece written all over it.

It amazed me when, after we got the unexpected cha-ching from last year's Sugar Bowl, we raised season ticket prices.

I wonder - what does the university budget for bowl takings a year?