There was an article this weekend by Mark Story about a study done by a professor from Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus indicating that the Louisville Cardinals wring more money out of their basketball program than any other university in America:
According to those ratings, the most valuable men's hoops program in America belongs to U of L. Kentucky — which even Louisville fans would acknowledge is the most popular college hoops team in this state — was only the 16th "most valuable" men's college hoops program.
The study done by Ryan Brewer, an assistant professor of finance at Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus, places the "intrinsic value" of the U of L men's basketball program at $211.5 million. The worth of Kentucky men's basketball is "only" $73.7 million.
But Louisville is not the only basketball team ahead of Kentucky in this measure. Far less impressive national brands like Virginia, UNLV and Minnesota are also in the top ten, while UK languishes at #16. And lest you think it was the addition of the luxury boxes in the YUM! Center, the article also says that Louisville had a higher value by this calculation back when they were at Freedom Hall, as well.
The author of the study goes on to explain that Kentucky's expenses were at least partially responsible for their lower standing, and the calculation is based on the publicly reported information that the athletics departments submit to the federal government as part of their Title IX reporting.
The study also reveals that the UK football program is vastly more valuable ($207.7 million) than either Kentucky basketball, and significantly more valuable than Louisville football ($120 million), although not quite reaching the level of Louisville basketball. Kansas' basketball program was second among roundball teams at $149 million.
But the big football programs like Florida and Texas dominate these valuations. Texas football weighs in at $805.1 million and Florida at $630.2 million. Of course, everyone who follows sports business knows that football is far and away the biggest revenue earner at almost all major Division I programs.
My parting shot: All that extra money sure hasn't translated into NCAA titles for the Cardinals. Just sayin'. Your thoughts?