Here are gross revenue and profit figures for all 14 SEC football programs for the fiscal year 07/01/16 to 06/30/17. (Keep in mind that “profit” is an amorphous term, considering the way athletic departments cook the books with certain expense items like tuition.)
- Vanderbilt: $29.0 million ($5.7 million profit)
- Missouri: $29.2 million ($8.1 million profit)
- Mississippi State: $35.7 million ($12.6 million profit)
- Kentucky: $36.4 million ($10.8 million profit)
- South Carolina: $60.3 million ($25.5 million profit)
- Ole Miss: $62.7 million ($32.3 million profit)
- Texas A&M: $70.4 million ($37.3 million profit)
- Arkansas: $71.2 million ($33.9 million profit)
- Florida: $82.8 million ($49.1 million profit)
- LSU: $86.2 million ($56.1 million profit)
- Auburn: $91.7 million ($48.9 million profit)
- Georgia: $93.3 million ($56.9 million profit)
- Alabama: $108.1 million ($45.9 million profit)
- Tennessee: $110.7 million ($78.1 million profit)
Quite the bang for the buck there, Volnation.
It’s a little surprising to see Florida’s relatively middle of the pack numbers there, income-wise. It’s not so surprising, though, to compare the Gators’ profit number with that of Alabama’s when you compare staff expenses.
Alabama, you probably won’t be surprised to learn, has steadily raised its staff compensation over the past decade. You may be surprised to see the rate at which it’s done so.
Coach 2009* 2020 %change Change Off. coord. $416,515 $1,200,000 288.1% $783,485 Def. coord. $416,515 $1,100,000 264.1% $683,485 D-line $289,246 $750,000 259.3% $460,754 LBs $376,020 $650,000 172.9% $273,980 Secondary $271,891 $350,000 128.7% $78,109 TE/QB $335,526 $875,000 260.8% $539,474 Sp. teams — $550,000 — $550,000 WRs $260,322 $525,000 201.7% $264,678 RBs $289,246 $425,000 146.9% $135,754 O-line $460,948 $490,000 106.3% $29,052 Total $3,116,229 $6,915,000 221.9% $3,798,771
In case you’re wondering, the asterisk indicates that the 2009 salaries have been adjusted for inflation, which means that’s a real world increase rate of 221.9% in a decade. (Yes, some of that can be attributed to the addition of a tenth coach this season, but, still.) The result is that Alabama is paying this staff almost $7 million to coach this season.
By comparison, Florida, even with paying Todd Grantham a record amount for a Gator assistant coach, is paying its staff less than $5 million in 2018. (Is there another SEC assistant coach making less than $100,000 this season, as Christian Robinson is?)
Give ‘Bama credit for pouring its profits back into the program if you like, but nobody’s missing any meals at either school. The ultimate point here is that SEC schools are able to lavish huge salaries on coaches because they have lots of income rolling in and only so many places to spend it. If you think things are at the point where coaches make more money than is justified, that’s the way the market is structured today. It certainly makes Jimmy Sexton’s life easier.
As a side note, it sure will be interesting to revisit these numbers in a couple of years, when Georgia’s revenues and profits for the 2018 fiscal year are tallied, don’t you think?