“When we make it, we have a right to spend it,” Texas’s football coach Mack Brown tells USA Today Sports. “That’s the way America is.”
Brown, who earns more than $5-million a year, is Exhibit A of the Longhorns’ largesse. He pockets more than four NCAA Division I institutions spend on their entire athletics program, USA Today reports. (Under Brown, Texas won the national title in 2005, but has gone 13-12 the past two seasons.)
Texas, one of 22 Division I public institutions to operate in the black, has plenty to go around. Last year it brought in more (just over $150-million) and spent more ($133.7 million) on sports than more than 200 public Division I colleges, according to the newspaper’s annual database of spending in big-time college sports. Ohio State was a distant second in both categories.
Texas and Ohio State aren’t the only department with deep pockets. Ten programs made or spent more than $100-million a year ago, USA Today‘s findings show. Nearly two dozen topped $80-million.
And in the past year alone, spending at the 227 Division I colleges USA Today surveyed rose by $267-million.
Those numbers concern some former leaders, especially as states reduce their support of higher education. “There’s nothing to stop Texas or other very successful financial enterprises with these gigantic television contracts from continuing to grow, grow, grow because their revenues match their expenditures,” former Arizona President Peter Likins told USA Today. “But the disconnect between what’s happening in athletics and what’s happening elsewhere in the same universities creates stress, and … the stresses will create a breakdown.”
(Photo from Wikimedia Commons)