Touchdown: Financial Benefits to College Football Programs

You’re wearing your favorite team’s bold and colorful jerseys with pride. You’re surrounded by dedicated fans. You’re yelling the cheers at the top of your lungs. You can’t take your eyes off the field as you watch the players run around intensely. Sound familiar? If you’ve been to a football game, it does. But beyond the school unity and spirit, college football can bring in great financial revenue to its school and students.  

In Texas, college football is not only a favorite state tradition, but also a big money maker and a great business. In the 2009 school year alone, the Texas Longhorns generated more than $90 million in gross revenues, making them the most profitable college football team in the country. In the same year, the Texas A&M Aggies brought in revenue of $42 million, ranking at number four most profitable in the Big-12. Texas Tech Red Raiders grossed $26 million and finishing off the Big-12, the Baylor Bears generated $14 million in revenue. All together, Texas college football programs made the astonishing gross revenue of over $170 million in 2009.

College football teams almost always generate significant revenues, especially after big payouts from participation in Bowl games and achieving Championship titles. In some cases, a school’s football program can support funding for other athletic programs that do not make a profit, but still require a budget for scholarships, equipment and other expenses.

Success and revenues from football programs also benefit campus improvements as it becomes much easier for the board of trustees to raise money in general, and therefore, beneficial for all the students. Also, from well-supported college programs, NFL athletes can emerge. Colleges can almost guarantee financial support from these pro athletes in the future through donations or personal appearances to raise athletic funds.

From the fan gear to the televised games, successful college football programs can produce millions of dollars in revenue to improve the prestige, education and facilities for all of the school’s students. However, to be successful a school must also invest money into the programs. Should a college risk cutting funding from other programs to invest in football?

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