Alabama Athletics Earns More Money Than All 30 NHL Teams

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Alabama Athletics Earns More Money Than All 30 NHL Teams

Postby dmiles2186 » Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:10 am

It helps when you don't have to pay players, of course, but still...

http://deadspin.com/alabama-athletics-e ... 1560555985

The Alabama Crimson Tide athletics department earns revenues of $143 million dollars. According to Marc Edelman, a professor of sports and antitrust law at CUNY, that is more than all 30 NHL teams and 25 NBA teams. While not the craziest thing you've ever heard, it does crystallize something you've probably always known on some level: amateur sports is better business than professional sports.

On the whole, college athletics earns more than the aggregate of the NHL and NBA, according to Edelman. Student athletes across the country are earning more for their institutes of higher learning than professionals are for their organizations designed specifically to make money.

Texas is the largest athletic department, earning more than $165 million last year in revenue — with $109 million coming from football, according to Education Department data. The university netted $27 million after expenses.

Other major programs such as Florida ($129 million), Ohio State ($123 million), Michigan ($122 million), Southern California ($97 million) and Oregon ($81 million) also are grossing massive dollars. They are also spending big bucks, too.

The real triumph of the decades-long propaganda war against organized labor isn't best seen in the ever-declining rate of unionization, or… Read…

The AP looked into all of this in the wake of the NLRB decision in March that held Northwestern football players were employees entitled to form a union. It's more of the same from a press set on pointing out all the questions posed by student-athlete unionization.

Rod Fort, a sports economist and co-director at the Michigan Center for Sport Management, said the difference in profit margins between schools and nonfootball programs "presents the potential union with a real trade-off problem" if it wanted to negotiate for revenue.

"If athletes make any gains through organization of unions and collective bargaining, it's going to come at the expense of other spending that's going on in the athletic department. Most of that extra money goes to coaches' salaries, facility upgrades and recruiting," Fort said. "It's precisely that spending that makes the university the attractive place that it is to come and play in the first place."

As we've pointed out, there are certainly things that will need ironing out, but these questions are not unanswerable, they are just questions that can be answered during the unionization and collective bargaining processes.

In the meantime, don't worry about your alma mater losing out on top recruits because all that money they used to spend on the coach and the sweet TVs in the locker room now goes elsewhere. Free agents don't want to play for the New York Yankees because they have a high-paid coach and great facilities. They want to play for the Yankees because they pay.
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Re: Alabama Athletics Earns More Money Than All 30 NHL Teams

Postby gaijin » Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:23 am

And here I thought the point of college was to earn an advanced degree in a field of study.

In actuality, it has been the minor league system for the NFL and NBA for quite a while now.
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Re: Alabama Athletics Earns More Money Than All 30 NHL Teams

Postby ComradeT » Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:52 pm

I don't have the data but wouldn't it be more accurate to compare the program to combined revenues of NBA and NFL teams in cities where such two teams are present (Atlanta?). It's no secret that amateur sports bring in loads of cash but the conclusions made in the article are not that clear-cut.
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Re: Alabama Athletics Earns More Money Than All 30 NHL Teams

Postby WaukeeBlues » Tue Apr 08, 2014 3:30 pm

The key there is the "net of $27 million" after expenses. How many sports does football revenue prop up that AREN'T profitable? Or other programs. I'd be curious how much of that $27 million is actually profit. And when you look at it that way there's an argument that a professional team that makes the playoffs, etc, is still more profitable than a college team. But again, I don't know the numbers so I don't know.

gaijin wrote:And here I thought the point of college was to earn an advanced degree in a field of study.

In actuality, it has been the minor league system for the NFL and NBA for quite a while now.


Well even beyond that! In about 2008/2009 I read one of the best articles I've ever read from a newspaper. It was a full on USA Today study about the majors that collegiate student athletes choose to study, and especially as it relates to men's basketball and football and it was kind of staggering. I forget the precise numbers but the general point of the article is that in an alarming number of these schools, the first meeting that the athlete has with a counselor after selecting their college and their sport and accepting their scholarship is that they're given a list of about 5-6 majors and told to pick one. Because if they studied anything else they wouldn't be able to handle both their sport responsibilities and going to class.

In the article, they interviewed more than one student who indicated that after college and after playing their sport, they had to go BACK to school to major in what they "actually" wanted to study since the option wasn't available while they were there on the first go-round. The basic premise was: it's all BS. They bring these kids in, they more or less arm-twist them into BS majors that they don't even want to study just to get them eligible (this was ESPECIALLY true among the kids who had professional sports aspirations (which, as we know, don't always pan out)), then the kid graduates, they're stuck with a (to them) meaningless degree they have no interest in pursuing, their pro sports aspirations don't pan out or they get hurt... and the university got all the benefits.

*sigh*
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