You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Tue, Mar 20, 2012 : 12:08 p.m.

Report says Michigan athletic department turned a $26.6 million profit in 2010-11, 2nd most in the Big Ten

By Nick Baumgardner

The Michigan athletic department wasn't bashful with expenditures in 2010-11.

And the school's athletic clubs weren't exactly hurting either.

According to a report by The Business of College Sports, the Michigan athletic department turned a profit of $26.6 million during the calendar athletic year of 2010-11, the second-highest gain of any Big Ten school.

Per the report, which relies on data obtained through the Department of Education, Michigan also went down as the second-highest spender that year at $95.8 million.

Penn State was the league's most profitable department, bringing in a whopping $31.6 million while spending $84.5 million.

Ohio State spent more than anyone ($113.2 million), but still was the third-most profitable school ($18.6 million). Michigan State was the league's fourth-most profitable school at $13.5 million.

Two schools, Minnesota and Northwestern, gained zero profit, per the report.

Nick Baumgardner covers Michigan sports for He can be reached at 734-623-2514, by email at and followed on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.



Thu, Mar 22, 2012 : 8:51 p.m.

Ted Bundy, It is pretty obvious that the buckeyed university has their own in house acct. firm in Arthur Andersen LLC (can't recall???...Look up Enron). :) GO BLUE!

John william

Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 2:31 a.m.

So this is just a guess but Im saying that Michigan could makes a profit on Football, Basketball, Hockey, Soccer (maybe because of low expenses and higher attendences) Golf (only because of Michigan golf course) and for the girls Volleyball, softball, and Gymnastics With 6 sports that can maintain expenses Im a little surprised that the profit numbers aren't higher and does renovations and uprgrades count as athletic spending money in this number?

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 5:40 p.m.

My gut guess is only football and mens basketball operate in the black. And they do so in part from lucrative sharing of TV money that the other sports don't have. But that's me guessing.


Tue, Mar 20, 2012 : 11:20 p.m.

When do Fball tix go down then? Oh I mean up when do they go up?


Tue, Mar 20, 2012 : 9:07 p.m.

Don't forget, there was one less home football game in 2010-11. The Big Chill was not that profitable eventhough there was 113,000 plus in attendance. The 2011-12 school year featured 8 home football games and the best attendance at Crisler (Center) in many years. Not only was there one more home football game, there were more marquee games including the Night game with ND. Football attendance was up per game because of Michigan winning. Bottom line: The 2011-12 bottom line should look even better.


Tue, Mar 20, 2012 : 8:06 p.m.

The numbuers in this report are bogus. um has not come close to that kind of profit EVER. i


Tue, Mar 20, 2012 : 7:46 p.m.

Color me skeptical. Per the linked report, the columns in the table are: o School o Total Athletic Department Revenue o Total Athletic Department Expenses o Profit And two schools posted a profit of exactly $0 ... for example, Minnesota: Revenues: $78,924,683.00 Costs: $78,924,683.00 Right down to the dollar! Amazing. Northwestern has the exact same phenomenon. That's virtually impossible for an operation that size. I don't believe it. The numbers are baked in some way ... which makes me skeptical of the whole report.


Tue, Mar 20, 2012 : 6:06 p.m.

Yup, it's hideously unfair for the AD to reimburse The University $59,000 a year for each out of state player on athletic scholarship. The poor abused student athlete gets to do something he's dreamed of doing since he was 6 years old, play college football, AND get his degree paid for, while cultivating potential draft status for a multi-million dollar career using University trainers and facilities. Sure seems like a raw deal compared to those who stay back home looking for a burger flipping job, or some activity illegal and more lucrative than minimum wage. No one twists their arm to accept an athletic scholarship, and why would they have to, no one would turn down the opportunity.

Chase Ingersoll

Tue, Mar 20, 2012 : 5:38 p.m.

1. We need to know the numbers behind the numbers - what is and what is not considered to be revenue and expenses that make up these totals' 2. We really need to see a breakdown by sport. Is it fair to assume that football is by far the most expensive, but also generates the most revenue and profit that supports other sports and teams. 3. Are any teams other than football and baseketball contributing toward the profit. 4. If football is generating the revenue, within the context of Title VII, how are we supposed to think about the fairness of offering young, male, minorities opportunities for a educational subsidy for 4 years of running into one another at 20 x 2 miles per hour, while the young affluent, white, women, under Title VII are offered a subsidized education for participating in sports where the likelihood of a life alternating injury is but a fraction as likely. I'm just pointing out that Title VII is about non-discrimination/fairness and that this is just something where the outcome seems particularly unfair to young, minority males. Class Action? Chase Ingersoll


Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 3:23 p.m.

Looks like you were right, and football takes the cake by a margin. And it pays for everything else... see "For practices, spring football had the highest rate of practice injuries (9.6 per 1000 A-Es), followed by women's gymnastics (6.1 per 1000 A-Es), wrestling (5.7 per 1000 A-Es), and women's soccer (5.2 per 1000 A-Es)." "Two typically noncontact sports, women's soccer and women's gymnastics, had injury rates in the range reported for contact sports such as wrestling (practices) and men's ice hockey (games). "


Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 3:19 p.m.

Good point, but Statistics for women's gymnastics injuries are probably just as bad as college football...

Ted Bundy

Tue, Mar 20, 2012 : 4:58 p.m.

"Ohio State spent more than anyone ($113.2 million)..." I'm assuming half of those expenditures were legal fees and car payments for Pryor?


Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 1:21 p.m.

Good one Ted. Let me educate you, son. Ohio State has more Div I programs than any school in the country. next is Texas.