The College Football Arms Race: Examining Athletic Department Revenues

Editor's Note: Bumped to the front because I'm a sucker for numbers. Thanks for writing, Sammy. --Joe

Last week, news broke that Virginia Tech offensive line coach Jeff Grimes would be departing Blacksburg after one season for the same position at LSU. Grimes is originally from Texas, played his college ball at UTEP and this move gets Grimes closer to his Texas roots. However, the cold, hard fact is at the end of the day, Grimes likely left Virginia Tech because LSU made him a far more lucrative offer than the Hokies could.

As Joe pointed out in an earlier post, Grimes is probably in line for a significant pay raise from the Tigers. This has sparked terrific debate and conversation among the Hokie Nation and right here on The Key Play on both coaching salaries and Hokie Club contributions.

It also provides a nice opportunity to take a look at athletic department revenues among FBS schools and examine where the Hokies stand in that hierarchy. The unfortunate reality for Virginia Tech's athletic department simply doesn't have as much money as LSU. For the 2012-2013 academic year, LSUs athletic department reported total revenues of $117,457,398; Virginia Tech - $69,845,483. That's a difference of $47,611,915. To put that number in perspective, Wake Forest's entire athletic department revenue for 12-13 was $48,830,266.

When you examine numbers even further, you can see just how big the disparity is between the college football have and the have nots. Last week, news also broke that the NCAA is reportedly looking at splitting the five major conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big XII, Pac 12 and SEC) into its own division, and an examination of the numbers below show that it really is almost unfair that Sun Belt and MAC schools are competing in the same division as the Alabamas, Ohio States and Oklahomas of the world.

Even within the five major conferences, the differences in revenue can be staggering. Texas, who had the highest athletic department revenue in the country for the second straight year in 2012-2013, reported revenues of $165,691,486. Thats more than the bottom three major conference schools Utah, Washington State and Wake Forest combined. Moreover, Texas pulled in more money last year than Virginia ($84,402,712) and Virginia Tech combined.

Clearly more money doesn't always equal more wins. Keep in mind that Texas' last BCS Bowl win came at the end of the 2008 season, a 24-21 win over Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl. Utah, who ranked 63 out of 65 BCS conference schools in total revenues, also won a BCS Bowl that season, a 31-17 drubbing of Alabama, who reported almost triple the revenue as Utah last year.

However, one thing is clear higher revenues means the ability to hire better coaches, build better facilities, and leverage those to land better recruits. The schools with the better coaches, better facilities and better players win games more often than not.

Before getting into the numbers, a few notes. Keep in mind that this is a very top-line look at overall athletic department revenue by school and by conference. It doesn't include granular details like what percentage of overall revenue comes from football, basketball, etc. or expenditures, coaches salaries and other details. This is simply a broad view of how the top football-playing colleges stack up against one another in terms of overall revenue.

Another thing to note is some schools experienced wild fluctuations in total venue from last year to this year. For instance, Texas A&M reported a revenue of $119,702,222 in 2011-2012 and just $78,530,133 in 2012-2013, its first year in the SEC a difference of $41,172,089. On the other end of the spectrum, Wisconsin took in $146,366,405 in 2012-2013 versus $103,803,040 in 2011-2012, a staggering increase of $42,563,365. These drastic changes are likely due to fundraising campaigns for new facilities, or potentially in Texas A&M's case, exit fees from leaving the Big XII (although Missouri's total revenue increased $20,429,337 between 2011-2012 and 2012-2013).

Some of this is also inexact, as Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Syracuse are listed in the ACC in these charts, although their revenues for the two years listed should be included in the old Big East. In addition, Texas A&M and Missouri's 2011-2012 revenues should be included in the Big XII. Those schools were included with their current conferences in an attempt to simplify the charts. Hopefully, this data will be available in coming years and the charts can be updated on an annual basis.

Finally, revenue for each FBS school is below except for the three service academies, Air Force, Army and Navy, as their data is unavailable.

All of this information comes from the Equity in Athletics Data Analysis Cutting Tool Website.

BCS Conference Schools Ranked by Total Athletic Department Revenue (2012-2013)

BCS Schools Ranked by Revenue

Out of 65 schools in the five major BCS conferences, 13 reported total revenue of over $100 million in 2012-2013. Five of the 13 are in the SEC: Alabama, Florida, LSU, Tennessee and Auburn. The Big Ten also has five schools in the top 13 (Wisconsin, Ohio State, Michigan, Iowa and Penn State). The Big XII has two of the top five in revenue (Texas and Oklahoma) and the ACC (kind of) rounds out the top 13 with Notre Dame.

Virginia Tech reported total revenue of $69,845,483 in the 2012-2013 academic year, down $878,265 from 2011-2012's $70,723,748. Overall, the Hokies ranked 44th in total athletic department revenue among 65 BCS conference schools. Virginia Tech's $69.8 million is well below the BCS conference average of $84,412,123. North Carolina has the median revenue among these 65 schools with $78,141,093.

Conference Revenue Comparison Chart

A couple things jump out after examining the average and median revenues by conference. First, the SEC and Big Ten are clearly in their own league, with average and median revenues in excess of $90 million. The ACC is fifth among the five major BCS conferences in both average revenue and median revenue. If you remove Notre Dame, Syracuse and Pittsburgh from the ACC, the conferences average revenue and median revenue fall to $69,841,967 and $69,004,716, respectively.

The American Athletic Conference checks in with an average revenue of $53,579,524, but if you take Louisville and Rutgers out of the equation, that number dips to $45,968,812. As you venture further down the chart to the Mountain West, Conference USA, MAC, and Sun Belt, the numbers nosedive substantially. The thought of a school like South Alabama, with revenues of $16,328,668 competing in the same division as Alabama or Auburn, who both took in over $100 million in 2012-2013, does appear unfair on the surface.

Athletic Department Revenue by Conference

ACC

ACC Revenue Chart

Big Ten

Big Ten Revenue Chart

Big XII

Big XII Revenue Chart

SEC

SEC Revenue Chart

Pac 12

Pac 12 Revenue Chart

AAC

AAC Revenue Chart

Mountain West

Mountain West Revenue Chart

Conference USA

Conference USA Revenue Chart

Future CUSA Member Revenue Chart

*Old Dominion and Charlotte will join Conference USA as football members in 2014 and 2015, respectively.

MAC

MAC Revenue Chart

Sun Belt

Sun Belt Revenue Chart

New Sun Belt Schools Revenue Chart

*New Mexico State, Idaho, Appalachian State and Georgia Southern will join the Sun Belt Conference in 2014.

FBS Independents

FBS Independent School Revenue Chart

After digesting these numbers, what stands out to you? What do you think about Virginia Techs place in terms of revenue compared to other schools? How will the ACC's new television contract affect its member schools revenues in coming years? Perhaps a scarier question how will the SEC Network impact its schools revenues in the future?

On a larger scale, when looking at these numbers, do you believe that the ACC, Big Ten, Big XII, SEC and Pac 12 should separate from the other conferences to form its own NCAA division? If so, does the on-field success of schools like UCF, Boise State, ECU and other AAC/CUSA/Mountain West schools do anything to change your mind?

Comments

Wow! That is absolutely embarrassing that the Hoos are that much higher than us in terms of revenue. We are DEFINITELY doing a bunch of things wrong. Smfh

Babcock...time to stick it in...again.

Fosterball

The hoo's are higher because the athletic department gets a much bigger stipend from the UVA general fund to keep operating normally.

Yeah. We gotta do something about that. Stat.

Babcock...time to stick it in...again.

Fosterball

I'm trying to think of a way to convince the trustees of the UVA endowment to support VT athletics, but I'm not coming up with anything.

I don't know what more Frank could do....he's already taken their stadium.

Take the shortest route to the ball and arrive in bad humor.

UVAs athletic Fee is $621, ours is $272. That's a $450 per student difference. If we charge what UVA charges for athletic fees it would mean an additional ~$10.8 in revenue alone.

Even increasing our athletic fee by 50% would mean an extra $4.2m, that's enough to get a MBB coach worth a damn and pay FB assistants at a competitive level alone.

Tuition is too expensive as it is.

Goes up on average something like 8%/yr. That's national averages, so VT may be less.

Even so, there is a significant amount of waste within the Education system (and not just the collegiate level), and putting paying students deeper in debt isn't the way to go.

That's my 2 cents anyway.

I understand what you're saying.

What I'm saying is if you don't utilize the same revenue streams as the programs you compete with, to the extent that those programs do, then you can't complain that you don't have as much money as they do.

Or we could innovate in some way. Make the students not hate us later on down the road. I don't know how we could innovate, but I feel like it's possible.

Of course we could. At Virginia Tech, we invent the future.

Twitter me

True enough I guess.

But then, I'm not actually complaining about our money situation. It would be nice to make more, yes.

I'm all for that.

Just not on the backs of paying students.

And by paying, I mean taking out loans and seeing that fee amortized over 10 years or so.

Sure it doesn't seem like much. But it's a bit of a hidden fee, in that its a relatively small part of the overall tuition, and that it is therefore payable via those borrowed funds.

Students in college are not great at economics and budgets to begin with. But I bet if you pulled that fee out of the general bill, and said it wasn't payable by financial aid, you'd see a sh!tstorm of protest over the kind of increase being suggested.

This might be blashemy, but does VT really NEED a Horse constantly running on a treadmill. Would we save money by having a large dog on a treadmill instead? Times is tight.

Which wallet is yours?

The one that says "Bad Motherfucker"

Horse exhaust has more uses than canine exhaust.

Danny caught that ball.

Friends don't let 5 star friends commit to UVA.

I have inside info. - Whit

Whoa, nelly. Let's not say things we can't take back. We all do what we have to in order to feed our kids.

Yeah but why saddle all of the students with an extra 450 when there are a lot of students who do not care about athletics at VT? Maybe the ones who actually go to games, charge them, I don't know.

Correy

An extra $400-$800 per student per year is really not that much all things considered.

If we were charging everyone what we charge those that come in out of state, yeah, I could see it, but really, our tuition is already pretty low across the board. Raising the fees to help fund the brand sustaining entities in the public eye that represent the university seems like a very small price to pay for these students.

Put it this way, we all saw how much admissions blew up and expanded after the 1999 season. That football season, and the brand name recognition that came with it because of the football team is the reason that we have so much academic momentum right now. It seems foolish to not want to utilize that influx of academic talent to help fund the football program that got us to the level where we are right now. We wouldn't have these ACC partnerships and we wouldn't be working with the likes of Wake Forest, NC State, Clemson, etc in research ventures if we didn't have a football program good enough to get us in this conference.

400 - 800 /yr isn't that much?

Look, I make a pretty nice salary and have a pretty comfortable life. But come on.

I'd have to think long and hard about dropping 400 bucks on anything not absolutely necessary. And like I said, I'm fairly comfortable, and am not relying on part-time jobs in between classes for spending money.

Given today's job market, and the nation's U6 unemployment numbers, I think it could fairly well be called usurious to charge students that much more per year on the hope we can land bigger-name coaches, that those coaches would be successful, and that after that success, they would stick.

Completely agree. The college football "arms race" is getting out of hand. It will only go as far as the market will allow. If the market from those making the money is tapped out, I don't like the idea of burdening students who are making negative $$$ per year for that extra 10 mil.

Hasn't tuition at VT doubled in the last 5-10 years?
And yet the starting salary at my company and many others is the about the same now as it was when i graduated in 2007.

They expanded every facility, built an entirely new endzone seating bowl, and just put up a new HD video board. What more do you wnat them to do?

Which wallet is yours?

The one that says "Bad Motherfucker"

Another point here is that keeping these additional non academic fees low is a priority of Steger ... see http://www.vtmag.vt.edu/winter14/president.html ... and one I fully support. I would also like to throw out there that not everywhere has cheap student season tickets/free game ticket lotteries. That is a rarity. There are many things we decide to do differently which makes the hokie nation what it is.

Beat them playing your game.

To be honest, I am proud of our balance between athletics and academics and relative success in both.

Terrific link, mattjfore.

Steger makes a great case for keeping fees low.

The only reason I would raise the fees is to encourage more people to attend and stay at games. If you pay more you will want to get something for it. $273 is a bargain and most could care less if they never use it. If you are paying $1,000 (the state average for public universities) you will want to go to every event possible.

So you are going to try compel students to act in a way you approve by charging them a fee (a euphemism for "fine" in this case) whether they act or not?

You don't see anything the slightest bit morally questionable about that position?

In the CFB arms race, we are Canada.

VTCC '86 Delta Derelicts, Honduras Hokie

Turkey leg for your positive spin sir. You are a true Hokie Hero.

VTCC '86 Delta Derelicts, Honduras Hokie

The question becomes: How do we get to where we want to be?

Take the shortest route to the ball and arrive in bad humor.

We have an annual enrollment of 31k. It's bordering on a crime that the Hokie club has wasted the last 20 years of relative football success and not leveraged our immense fan base into a financial windfall.

We literally set ten thousand new hokie fans into the job force, well educated with good earning potential every year. There's no sane reason we couldn't make bank off of that as an athletic department.

The only real thing separating us from those SEC and B1G schools is attitude.

BOOM!! you have received your turkey leg from me, 10 turkey legs in spirit...

"...sticks and stones may break my bones but I'm gonna kick you repeatedly in the balls Gardoki!"

If you think about what their athletic teams accomplish and the size of the alumni, it is apparent that these schools are not raising revenue as well as they should:
VT
Clemson
K State
GT
Maryland
Pitt

These schools seem to raise funds really well:
Iowa
Arkansas
Minnesota
Louisville
Stanford

So, how does the VT and the ACC get better at funding? I'm not sure, but I hope the new AD does.

Arkansas and Louisville have large corporate donors (W-M and Papa Johns) to help their bottom line. I'm sure Stanford has some $$$ alum as well. Iowa is a large state school. Im not sure about MN.

Correy

Wal-Mart I'll give you, assuming the Walton's are huge donors to Arkansas. I don't know if I can give you papa johns with lousville when considering Nike with Oregon and Under Armor with Maryland.

Net Income according to Wikipedia:
Papa Johns - 62 mil
Nike - 2.2 bil
Under Armor - 128 mil

Assuming Shnatter, Knight, and Plank (CEO of Under Armor) each love their university the same, there is still a large disproportion to the money Louisville makes compared to Oregon and Maryland. Louisville is doing something right, and hopefully our future AD can figure that out.

You mean like Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard? HP= Stanford.

Danny caught that ball.

Friends don't let 5 star friends commit to UVA.

I have inside info. - Whit

I read somewhere that if Stanford Alumni was a separate country, it would have the seventh largest economy in the world.

Stanford does an exceptional job at putting their students in front of financial backers throughout their time at school. Of course, they are precisely in the best location in the country to do that. Not much of that happening in rural southwest VA unfortunately.

To follow on this point, effort in fundraising and quality of that effort would make a big difference. I have a grad degree from Duke, and their fundraising effort blows our/VT's away. I don't think I've ever heard anything from the Hokie Club, and I graduated in 1998. Athletic fundraising is much weaker than it should be given the level of success we/VT have seen on the field. Frankly, the same holds true for academic giving as well (I've heard from them, but Duke does a much better job).

So the problem is I don't get enough phone calls asking me to give? Somehow that doesn't sound right ...

To my knowledge, the Hokie Club (athletic booster fundraising organization) doesn't make cold calls. The call center in the University Mall handles academic-side fundraisers. I'd imagine that most, if not all, of the phone calls you get from Virginia Tech have to do with academic donations.

A week or so ago we had a long thread discussing the Hokie Club, its benefits, and why or why not we donate to it. A surprisingly large number of people weren't aware of a lot of aspects of it, because they do a terrible job of advertising.

"A surprisingly large number of people weren't aware of a lot of aspects of it, because they do a terrible job of advertising."

Yeah, this was exactly my point. I never said anything about cold calls. Certainly don't want those. My semi-educated guess is that Hokies give relatively little to the athletic program compared to other similar schools, and I think it is at least partly because of poor or non-existent marketing.

And I hear from them every year. I have never heard from the Hokie Club and I have worked my way up from a bronze, to silver, to gold hokie.

Just my two cents so here goes. I used to go all the games before I got married and had kids. But I went to pretty mich every game I could when I was in the Army at Bragg when one of my best friends had great parking in what was a Silver Hokie club level parking behind the south end zone, across the street from the paved Golden Hokie lot, right before the Michael Vick era started. After the Michael Vick era and the one NC appearance, the donations sky rocketed. He got bumped from lot to lot to lot the following years due to more Hokie Club donations, which is great, so don't get me wrong. So fund raising wasn't necessarily a top priority with the exposure we got then. Now with years past that and some stellar seasons and then the last to mediocre seasons as some would see, maybe with the next batch of good recruiting classes and subsequent really good seasons, we could start raising more $$$ for the whole athletic dept again. Just seems like the donations have hit an apex right now. Not saying we need another Michael Vick to turn that around, but some consistent top ten showings in the rankings or even the MNC game. Just going by the past of course. But thats just on a football perspective of course. Beamer has done wonders for this program since he became head coach and we all applaud him for that. Hopefully the tides are changing and we get back in the national spotlight.now go ahead and rip into this as necessary. I won't be offended.

Edit. Typed that on the ipad so some of the spelling is off and don't feel like going back over it all

What stands out? The red numbers. Don't know if it contributes to the overall point, but I noticed that the top producing football schools (from this season, such as tOSU, AU, FSU, MSU, OSU, TAMU, etc.) mostly seemed to take a cut of $10 Mil or more from 11-12 to 12-13. Is that economy? Revenue sharing? Investing in what they need for success? Does VT's -($800k) represent hiring new coaches in off-season last January?

The following is a series of disjointed rants.

Too much money is focused on college sports. What about academics?

Major professional sports in this country have salary caps. Why not colleges?

Who bears the burden of paying for big time college sports? Who should be paying?

One big problem is the commercialization of college sports. The product, mainly football, has become subservient to the commercial interests and their big money. They are leveraging the emotion of School Pride into big revenue. They are using essentially slave labor (amateurs) to make big profits. The commercial interests, outside of a few scholarships provided as PR, are the winners. So are the big name coaches and even the assistants.

When does the focus return to the student? The desire to remain competitive in big time sports makes the costs go up for everyone at a school, not just the sports fans.

To end the arms race I think all revenue in all NCAA sports should be divided equitably among all schools and conferences. Every school will have a budget and all schools should share in the benefits. Donors can either send their dollars to the NCAA, who will provide funding to every school that participates, or their donation will reduce what the NCAA sends to a school.

I know, ha, ha. But something needs to change or we will soon see schools selling naming rights to their university.

The Microsoft College of Engineering at the Sony Polytechnic and State Institute of Virginia.

...brought to you by EA Sports?

"...sticks and stones may break my bones but I'm gonna kick you repeatedly in the balls Gardoki!"

Nah, they just help cover the Nike Department of Athletics, presented by Aflac.

Too much money is focused on college sports. What about academics?

VT's athletics bring in a revenue between $60-$70 million/year. VT's research budget is around $450 million. Athletics is a marketing tool for the university.

Major professional sports in this country have salary caps. Why not colleges?

I'd like this idea at the surface, lots of details would have to be worked out though.

Who bears the burden of paying for big time college sports? Who should be paying?

Fans, TV networks, students, alumni, state tax dollars (public schools). As long as students don't pay too much, I think this is fine.

One big problem is the commercialization of college sports. The product, mainly football, has become subservient to the commercial interests and their big money. They are leveraging the emotion of School Pride into big revenue. They are using essentially slave labor (amateurs) to make big profits. The commercial interests, outside of a few scholarships provided as PR, are the winners. So are the big name coaches and even the assistants.

It's definitely a broken system. The system works fine for 98% of its participants, however, the 2% of players who don't fit the system generate over 100% of the profit.

When does the focus return to the student? The desire to remain competitive in big time sports makes the costs go up for everyone at a school, not just the sports fans.

Student ticket costs at VT aren't bad. I think it should be changed to a point system where students get credit for attending non-revenue sports, and said points can be redeemed for better/cheaper/guaranteed seats, but that's another issue.

I think the focus is on the student. Bowl/Kickoff game/Lottery Tix/Season tix are discounted, or free. North Endzone was build purely for students (I know it sucked last year, but two years ago I remember doing anything and everything to sneak in there). I've had classes and labs rescheduled for Thursday night games. How is it not about the student?

To end the arms race I think all revenue in all NCAA sports should be divided equitably among all schools and conferences. Every school will have a budget and all schools should share in the benefits. Donors can either send their dollars to the NCAA, who will provide funding to every school that participates, or their donation will reduce what the NCAA sends to a school.

I don't think that's fair at all. If I want to make a donation, I want to make a donation to Virginia Tech, and I don't want one penny going to UVA!!!! I'd be ok with a 'salary cap' where all donations/revenue over the cap go to support a school's academics.

Twitter me

Wait, what???

They are using essentially slave labor (amateurs) to make big profits.

Slave labor? I disagree with other things, but my brain just froze up on the hyperbole here.

There's a lot broken with internet debate, and 110 percent of it starts with badly flawed premises.

Yea, I missed that part in my above response. An instate student athlete is getting the equivalent of ~$20k/year pay.

For clarification (since this is apparently necessary), a slave is someone who is forced to work without pay. An amatuer (from a legal standpoint) is an apprentice; someone who works in order to gain experience rather than cash.

This contrast is exemplified in the movie Django Unchained, where Django is at first an unhappy slave, but later travels America on a minimal stipend, while practicing his craft. Django the apprentice is far happier than Django the slave.

In all seriousness, one can reasonably argue that amatuer athletes deserve the ability to pursue options on the free market, or even deserve a paycheck. One cannot reasonably compare an amatuer to a slave. Between travel, free college, free clothes, etc, these kids are given great opportunities .

Twitter me

Indeed.

And just to turn things on their head a bit, so far as those arguments go:

What would the average joe be willing to put up with for a chance at professional sports riches?

I think a scholarship, abundant free food, a degree if I want it, and free tutoring to achieve it are all pretty much icing on top of an already tasty BMOC cake.

Who among us wouldn't have grasped at that opportunity with both hands if we'd won that particular genetic lottery?

The alternative is (assuming we got accepted to a university in the first place) student loans, part-time jobs to supplement our meal and entertainment options, and the hope that we make enough connections and get good enough grades to make all our hard academic work pay off in any reasonable way.

In my opinion this is a fairly naive understanding of college athletics. Just as people clamoring for a "fair" playoff there is a huge misunderstanding of what athletics is. It is a BUSINESS. This is not peewee football where everybody gets a trophy for participation.

Athletics may have started as recreational clubs but it quickly changed, and remained unchanged, a business to make money. If not directly through athletics then by using it as a marketing tool. Since the mid-90's there has been a huge shift in how this business was modeled. Before it was a much smaller business model predicated on immediate returns of ticket and merchandising sales. Since that time (and certainly before for the likes of Mich, ND and Texas) conferences and teams have had increase exposure and in return increased revenue from that exposure stemming from television rights primarily. If college football was not so popular then it would not be able to demand such high returns on these rights or even in some cases a specific conference channel. But it is. As bar1990 pointed out quite astutely VT spends a hell of a lot more on Academics than Athletics.

You claim that the extra expenditure increases cost on students but I would counter that had VT football not been around or had not won the Sugar against Texas, then played for Championship in 99 then it would still remain a fairly small, regionally recognized school. Football put the school on the map nationally. That is priceless for the Academic programs in the university as a wider recognition means more boosters give to the school, more research grants are given the school, better professors are attracted to and paid for at the school. Look at how much the school has grown since my time there from 95 - 99. So many new buildings and facilities built, almost exclusively academic expenditures. Expenditures that could not have happened if VT was simply that engineering school in Southwest VA. I do believe VT academically would have continued to excel at a slower upward curve but football was this school's flying delorean taking us 88 mph into the future and Beamer it's Doc Brown.

Your comment about slave labor is also IMO fairly naive. TKP had a thread about whether to pay athletes or not, stemming from the O'Bannon case. I am very much in the camp to not pay them. Here's why. No athlete is required to play, they volunteer to pay. They can elect to stop at any time. Most athletes never go pro and make the big money. And if you wanted to use a metaphor then you should consider that the relationship is more of a Artist and Art Gallery. Athletes being the artists are given a venue to exhibit their art in hopes of a payday. Meanwhile universities being the gallery take the risk that the artist they choose may in fact suck and bring down the brand and therefore the financial return of the gallery. They do not pay that artist for displaying work (except that universities do pay athletes now in terms of scholarships). In fact, they take returns from the artist's sales. So if you really must pay student athletes proceeds of merchandise then the University should be able to take from their future earnings at the professional level. It is not slave labor. Not in the slightest.

It is easy to argue that the focus is on athletics. They are on TV every weekend, but this is not representative of where Universities money goes. This is simply what the university uses a publicity tool. Athletics is the Duck in the Aflack commercials. It is a method/ploy to engender the name of the university onto a wider population in hopes for financial return in student enrollment, endowments, research grants, etc. Not the other way around. (Unless your Ivy League or Military Schools, and even then maybe not)

Apologies for rant-like writing.

I'm glad we can have a civil debate about this. My facts and implications are mostly rants due to frustration about what I feel is an unfair system. The system is a reflection of our world, which also has many issues. Can we make it more fair and less influenced by greed?

I can't consider the big time programs any better than the rest because they start off with so many more competitive advantages. Same is true with success in our economic system. A few folks have a great head start. There are many more underdogs in this world than favorites. What I love about VT is that success has come through a lot of hard work.

I agree. I love the mentality of VT. Blue collar, lunch pail, putting in the hard work are all things I believe in and love. But no matter how much VT spends it will never be able to spend as much as the big programs and will ALWAYS be the underdog. We simply cannot compete with them that way. Reading the interview from Ballein, we aren't even competing with the worst teams in the ACC financially.

The point is while a large budget VT athletics is both substantially lower than Academics and a hell of a lot lower than what other schools with worse programs spend. *cough* LOLUVA *cough* But the returns that VT has gotten from having a nationally recognized team have also been quite substantial. As long as that proves true then spending on athletics is smart fiscal planning.

And do not forget that most sports do not generate income.
Even most football programs at the college level do not generate income.
VT football, while probably the largest budget in VT athletics, IIRC generates a profit and fund many of the other programs.

This is a point the HClub needs to hit upon.
There are lots of VT baseball fans, there are many girls soccer and lacrosse fans.
I wonder what the percentage of HC members are exclusively out for football as opposed to other sports.
Need to get fandom rolling for some of these other programs.
-10k Hokie Club members is too small. No wonder season tickets have been available.

Danny caught that ball.

Friends don't let 5 star friends commit to UVA.

I have inside info. - Whit

I am pretty sure that football funds all of the other programs at this point. Including men's basketball.

How I the contract with the SEC network going to work in light of the U. of Texas Athletics Network?

Danny caught that ball.

Friends don't let 5 star friends commit to UVA.

I have inside info. - Whit