Yesterday, the USA Today released a list of college athletic department revenue for the 2012 year. The list only includes public universities, as private colleges can be a lot more, ahem, private about financial information.
Out of the entire nation, Washington came in at 24th. Pretty impressive when you stack them up against the Midwestern and Southern schools like Texas (1st), Ohio State (2nd), and Florida (5th) that have huge stadiums and a history of long-term, national success in both basketball and football.
Within the conference, UW’s $82.5 Million in total revenue ranked 2nd behind only the University of Oregon (16th in the nation with $94 Million). Though, realistically, if the private schools were included in the list, I have to imagine that USC would have ranked either 1st or 2nd. Football is king in revenue, and even if the Trojans haven’t succeeded in comparison to expectations in the recent past, they have a very large fanbase.
As for the rest of the conference, the News Tribune put together a really comprehensive list of all ten public schools, including major revenue and expenses. Utah is last, and 61st in the nation, and Washington State is just ahead of that at 9th and 59th in the NCAA.
The New Tribune piece also brings up an interesting and highly divisive element of these stats: public subsidies. All ten Pac-12 universities accepted subsidies in 2012. Washington took just over $3 million in subsidies, or 3.71% of total revenue. You can certainly take issue with the fact that an athletic department that made over $8.7 million in “profit” (subtracting expenses from revenue) is being subsidized, but that number absolutely pales in comparison to the subsidies taken by other schools.
Oregon State accepted a whopping $18 million, good for 31% of their total revenue. Even Washington’s own WSU took $8.7 million, far more than UW, and due to their lesser revenue, it equaled 20.58% of total revenue.
I plan on delving further into the idea of subsidized athletic departments later in the offseason, but please, feel free to offer your own take on this issue in the comments or @HuskyHaul on twitter. Just be respectful, and as always, thanks for reading.