It’s football time in Tennessee….. Just how much do these colleges earn from sports?

Having personally worked for a the University of Tennessee and seeing just how much they spend, it makes me wonder how much revenue they earn in a given year? College sports programs usually have multiple sources of income such as donations, ticket sales, royalties from rights fees, sponsorship deals , and distributions from lucrative television contracts. So which teams make the most money and how much do they actually earn?

1) Texas A&M — $192.6 million

2) Texas — $183.5 million

3) Ohio State — $167.2 million

4) Michigan — $152.5 million

5) Alabama — $148.9 million

6) Florida — $147.1 million

7) LSU — $138.6 million

8) Oklahoma — $134.3 million

9) Tennessee — $126.6 million

10) Penn State — $125.7 million

football players in blue jersey lined under grey white cloudy sky during sunset


For most schools football leads the way in earnings but men’s and women’s basketball are also big contributors. As far as revenue donations usually make up the largest source of income, these donations are mostly from boosters, boosters can be large donors or anyone that donates money to receive season tickets.

So as we all know that income doesn’t always equal profit, let’s look at the top 5 most profitable schools and as you can see the top 5 earning schools aren’t the top 5 most profitable schools. (As a side note, Tennessee is on both the list)

  The University of Texas at Austin                     $97,866,741

The University of Tennessee-Knoxville             $78,073,317

University of Notre Dame                                    $63,577,691

University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus       $58,028,247

sport stadium ball game

So now we know the highest earning college sports programs and the most profitable programs, so what football coaches earn the most? The numbers below are from 2017 salaries and don’t include fringe benefits, bonuses, or other perks,

1. Nick Saban, Alabama —  $11,132,000

2. Dabo Swinney, Clemson —  $8,526,800

3. Jim Harbaugh, Michigan — $7,004,000

4. Urban Meyer, Ohio State — $6,431,240

5. Rich Rodriguiz, Arizona — $6,031,563

6. Jimbo Fisher, Florida State — $5,700,000

7. David Shaw, Stanford — $5,680,441

8. Tom Herman, Texas — $5,486,316

9. Gary Patterson, TCU — $5,0104,077

10. Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M — $5,000,000


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