Florida may have won the SEC East the past two years, and Alabama may be winning the conference every season, but the Vols have both those schools beat in one area: raising money.
According to data acquired by Ross Dellenger of The Advocate, Tennessee posted the largest profit by any SEC program last fiscal year. And it wasn’t even close.
Tennessee out-earned every SEC school from 2015-16, pulling in a whopping $109.6 million dollars in revenue in that span. And given that Tennessee’s expenses were only $29 million, the program turned a $80.6 million profit. That total is $11 million higher than the next closest school, Texas A&M.
The Vols and Alabama ($103.9 million) were the only two SEC schools to pull in over $100 million in revenue. Texas A&M was close, hauling in $99.6 million. Georgia (5th) brought in $87.6 million while Florida (7th) brought in $79.9 million.
Missouri had the smallest revenue haul, bringing in just $34.6 million (Vanderbilt’s total was not known because private institutions don’t have to adhere to open records laws).
Mississippi State’s $13.2 million profit is the smallest in the SEC, finishing just behind Missouri’s $13.5 million. Georgia had the fifth-best profit with $48.7 million and Florida tied with Alabama for the sixth-highest profit with $47.8 million.
And most of that money comes from football, the article states.
The 13 SEC public schools combined to make a $544 million profit in football alone. But almost every other sport outside of football ends up costing universities money.
“Just one SEC school, Missouri, turns a profit ($2.6 million) when removing football revenue,” Dellenger wrote. “LSU, Georgia, Tennessee and Auburn all lose at least $30 million when eliminating football cash from their budgets.
“The Vols had an SEC-high $68.1 million in losses in other sports.”
The article breaks down how the numbers were calculated. Everything from paying head coaches to media rights and distribution are taken into effect to determine the revenue, expenses, and profit of each school.
Here is a chart of every SEC school’s revenue, expenses, and profit from the 2015-16 fiscal year: