A couple of days ago, in a post I linked to an article about Iowa State charging Iowa fans ninety bucks for a game ticket this year.
The Des Moines Register has a followup on the story. Evidently, Iowa is weighing the idea of opening its stadium up to its fans and showing the game on the big screen for a nominal charge (proceeds to go to charity).
The perfect summary of the situation is in a reader comment after the article from “JD55”:
Imagine what it would be like if those teams actually had anything meaningful to play for… besides inbred pride, of course.
(h/t The Wizard of Odds)
One more thing from that Anniston Star series on the finances of college athletics:
No doubt college basketball is a cash cow. CBS Sports paid the NCAA $432.6 million to broadcast the 2005 men’s basketball tournament, which earned an additional $29.4 million in revenue.
But the SEC, consistently one of the top basketball leagues, earned $12.5 million for its regular season basketball games, with 12 teams each playing 30 to 35 games per year.
With football and its 11- or 12-game season, the SEC earned $50 million for the regular season. [Emphasis added.]
According to a letter to Congress from NCAA President Myles Brand, 326 Division I men’s basketball programs brought in revenues of $789 million for 2005-06, while 117 Division I-A football teams brought in $1.6 billion.
Half the teams. Twice the money.
I know I can keep repeating this until I’m blue in the face, but you playoff proponents need to figure out how a D-1 football playoff isn’t going to wreck this math – especially if, once the NCAA gets involved, the moneys will be spread over far more teams.
It’s so easy.
The Anniston Star just ran a series on college football and college athletics revenue, cleverly titled “Field Gold”. You’ll find the gateway article linked here.
A few highlights:
- Miles Brand’s defense of college athletics’ finances and its tax exemption boils down to “don’t hate us because we’re pretty”:
Brand warned against demonizing college sports because of their popularity.
“If the American public had the same popular interest in French lectures or accounting classes as they do in athletics, television would be just as eager to telecast those events and to sell commercial time to pay the rights fees,” he wrote. “Transforming those academic offerings into commercialized events would not undermine the educational purpose for which the offerings are made.”
- Florida and Georgia share the SEC’s most stringent entrance requirements for student athletes.
- Nick Saban may very well turn out to be worth that outrageous salary.
- Vanderbilt actually has three professors who earn more than its football coach.
- Kentucky may be a basketball school, but it generates a lot more money (and profit) from football.
- Evidently there are a bunch of cheap bastards running the Michigan athletic department.
Check out the “Sports Money Charts” link at the end of the article. Take a look at how much revenue Florida generated for the SEC as a result of being in the BCS title game. If you were an SEC AD, you may not have rooted for the Gators to win, but you sure had to be happy they were there.
Some stories just write themselves.
Mike Price in Juarez, Mexico.
Mike Price said: “We’ve never been there before, so it’s kind of a cultural experience for us.”