Expenses rise in business of college football, but business is good for nation’s elite

Lauren Williams's picture
Friday, December 20, 2013

Like almost everything else in life, the cost of doing business continues to rise.

Nowhere is that more prevalent than in big-time college football, where 38 schools spent more than $20 million on their programs last year. Alabama led with more than $41 million in expenses, according to information obtained from the Department of Education. Auburn was second with $36 million. TCU spent more than $31 million, the fifth-most in the country.

Spending on football more than doubled between 2005 and 2012, according to data from the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics and the Education Department. A big reason for the increase: coaches’ salaries.

Adjusted for inflation, the median salary per player jumped 45 percent between 2005 and 2011, according to the Knight Commission, while education spending per student increased 3 percent during the same period.

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