Here’s a really good piece on how the money comes in and goes out at Mississippi State, which just celebrated a record year for earnings.
MSU’s athletic department reported a record “profit” of $7.8 million for the academic school year (profit is in quotation marks because technically it’s a non-profit we’re looking at here), but even that’s misleading when you consider how the money is being spent.
So where does all the money go? Most of the $62,275,111, the revenue taken in by MSU from all avenues this year, goes right back into the university.
Stricklin paid out $20.1 million in coaching salaries across all sports in 2014-15, and roughly $10 million of MSU’s annual athletic budget cover scholarship money for student-athletes.
“We pay the university for every student-athlete,” said Stricklin. “Every football player that’s on full scholarship, it’s not just ‘Hey, come here for free,’ the athletic department is writing a check back to the university for that. Our scholarship budget this year, including the extra miscellaneous figure for cost of attendance, will be close to $10 million. So the new money from the SEC, that’s about equal to our scholarship bill is on an annual basis.”
That may look like a real outlay to the athletic department, but to the school? Hardly. Sure, there are some marginal expenses incurred, but it’s not like MSU is having to spend every scholarship dollar it receives on actual costs. There’s “profit” in there, too.
Unlike, say, the coaching salaries. But they’ll never be able to afford to compensate the kids, right?