Kentucky Wildcats: Athletic Department Ranked 19th in Overall Revenue

Kevin C. Cox

UK lands in the Top 20 in overall revenue for college athletic programs, according to USA Today's latest 2013 figures.

The University of Kentucky's athletic department had total revenues of $95,720,724 and expenses of $93,423,628 for a gross margin of $2,297,096. Meanwhile, subsidies accounted for 0.88% of the budget. What subsidies are can vary from school-to-school. An example is a percentage of tuition going to an athletic department.

Interestingly, USA Today further breaks down Kentucky's expenses and revenues. A look at the expenses demonstrates the continued rise in coaching/staff, infrastructure, and scholarship costs since 2005. The infrastructure spending would be even higher if not for some projects being privately funded or partially funded. No doubt, the renovation of Commonwealth Stadium, and the future projects for the softball and baseball teams will increase this number higher in 2015 and out.

UK Athletics remains solvent because meanwhile revenue has also increased across the board since 2005 via ticket sales, contributions, and rights/licensing. I suspect these numbers to continue to rise. SEC Network dollars will add to UK's coffers, and a competitive football program that averages 55,000 person attendance will also help.

UK ranks 8th in revenue among SEC schools, but UK has the lowest subsidy of them all. Tennessee's dire straits are readily apparent as their athletic department takes in a $12 million dollar subsidy. Their past issues are well known.

Do yourself a favor and play around with the database. There's much to be discussed in the comments. For example, the schools with the lowest revenue are in the red and require hefty subsidies. I don't see how they would ever be able to undertake some of the reforms that would compensate student-athletes. Luckily, UK appears to be one of the schools that can.

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