College athletics are big money, with $500 million stadium expansions and billions of dollars in TV football contracts.

But which school brings in more cash than any other?

USA Today has published its annual list of Division 1 college athletic finances for state-supported schools, and the single biggest money program in the nation is…

Texas A&M.

Raking in $194,388,450 in total revenue, the Aggies run the single most lucrative program among schools listed.

The Longhorns are second at $187,981,158, placing them $6,407,292 behind A&M.

In terms of which program brings in more than it spends, A&M is #1 by a shocking blowout. A&M’s revenue outpaces its expenses by $57,286,676, a stunning $23,104,876 ahead of #2 Oklahoma’s $23,104,876.  No other school comes anywhere close to A&M in terms of profitability.

The Longhorns are eighth, at $16.6 million.

It’s worth noting ESPN’s “Longhorn Network” deal with the school guarantees them at least $15 million a year. Without the ESPN deal, which broke up the Big 12, the Longhorns could be running a money-losing program.

They would, literally, be poor t-sips.

Of the 230 schools for whom USA Today had information (private institutions do not have the same reporting requirements,) 128 bring in more revenue than they rack up in expenses.  Only 72 of the 230 programs lose money.   The remaining 30 schools’ books balance evenly.

In total, Division I programs bring in $9,711,940,160, and cost $9,437,058,460, generating a net profit of $274,881,700.

How do Texas schools perform?

Ranked by net revenue:

Texas A&M
SEC
Revenue: $194,388,450
Expenses: $137,101,774
Rev-Exp: $57,286,676

Texas
Big 12
Revenue: $187,981,158
Expenses: $171,394,287
Rev-Exp: $16,586,871

Texas Tech
Big 12
Revenue: $82,996,321
Expenses: $78,598,577
Rev-Exp: $4,397,744

Texas State
Sun Belt
Revenue: $34,698,351
Expenses: $31,268,882
Rev-Exp: $3,429,469

Sam Houston State
Southland
Revenue: $21,427,230
Expenses: $19,466,699
Rev-Exp: $1,960,531

Texas-Rio Grande Valley
WAC
Revenue: $14,070,803
Expenses: $12,680,880
Rev-Exp: $1,389,923

Texas-San Antonio
C-USA
Revenue: $27,426,009
Expenses: $26,443,958
Rev-Exp: $982,051

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Southland
Revenue: $12,075,557
Expenses: $11,402,190
Rev-Exp: $673,367

Prairie View A&M
SWAC
Revenue: $11,893,886
Expenses: $11,490,986
Rev-Exp: $402,900

Lamar
Southland
Revenue: $18,052,997
Expenses: $17,736,198
Rev-Exp: $316,799

Texas-El Paso
C-USA
Revenue: $32,709,050
Expenses: $32,510,383
Rev-Exp: $198,667

Stephen F. Austin
Southland
Revenue: $17,793,162
Expenses: $17,641,059
Rev-Exp: $152,103

Texas-Arlington
Sun Belt
Revenue: $13,075,708
Expenses: $12,951,655
Rev-Exp: $124,053

Texas Southern
SWAC
Revenue: $10,899,527
Expenses: $10,899,527
Rev-Exp: $0

Houston
AAC
Revenue: $51,469,297
Expenses: $52,204,566
Rev-Exp: -$735,269

North Texas
C-USA
Revenue: $33,278,988
Expenses: $34,155,537
Rev-Exp: -$876,549

Not listed (private schools)
Baylor
Rice
SMU
TCU

One thought on “The richest college athletic program is not who you think it is…

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