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How does the NFL revenue compare to top NCAA programs?

This is a bit dated (2015) but still is the best illustration I've seen about how college football is big business built on the backs of college athletes who get a substandard education and no disability insurance for the CTE they may suffer from down the line. BTW back in 2015 the U of Texas (Austin) made approx $1 million per player. Good to see that the NCAA's monopoly is beginning to crack and players have an ability to start getting a share of the pie.

NCAA Football Teams Made More Money Than Many NFL Teams in 2015

By Tyler Hakes

College sports is big business–that should come as no surprise to anyone. With all of the sponsorship, TV deals, and merchandise sales, many of the nation’s biggest schools earn tens of millions of dollars each year. But just how much is being earned? And how much of that is going back into the school’s coffers?

We did an analysis of the reported football income and profits from the 2014-2015 football season and found some pretty staggering facts about just how much is being earned on the business of college ball.

Some key findings:

  • The top 100 football programs (by earnings) generated nearly $5.6 billion in combined revenue

  • University of Texas (Austin) reported the highest earnings: $121 million

  • UT reported that of that $121 million, $91 million was profit–a 75% margin

  • Almost $1 million in profit was earned per player on the UT roster

  • UT’s $91 million in profit was higher than the 2015 operating income of 25 out of 32 NFL teams

  • 22 NCAA teams reported profits higher than the operating income of the lowest-earning NFL team, the Atlanta Falcons

University of Texas Earnings

Raking in the most money of any NCAA team, the Texas Longhorns football team earned a staggering $121 million in revenue and $91 million in profit for the 2014-15 season.

Not only did that put them nearly $25 million ahead of the second-best NCAA team (University of Alabama, by earnings), but it also put them ahead of nearly every NFL team when comparing the profits earned by Texas versus the operating income of the professional teams. (Note: These are not perfect comparisons, but were the closest figures we could find publicly available for all teams.) Only 7 professional teams had a higher operating income than UT’s football profits.

Given UT’s 99-man football team roster, they made almost $1,000,000 in profit for every player on the team. ($924,925.58 per player, to be exact.)

NCAA vs NFL earnings

The Atlanta Falcons had the lowest operating income of all NFL teams in the 2015 season. They reported earnings of $25.4 million. All told, 22 NCAA football programs posted profits in excess of what the Falcons brought in.

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