5 Things To Know About The Big Business Of College Football 

Even though college football players can’t earn a salary, college football is big money. How big? You’ll find out.


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Five Things To Know About The Big Business Of College Football 

1. The “power five conferences” (ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Pac 12, SEC) bring in considerable revenue, mostly due to lucrative TV deals. The SEC (Southeastern Conference) alone brought in $311 million from TV/radio rights for the 2014-2015 regular season.

2. Sponsorships are an additional source of revenue. Last year, the University of Michigan signed a deal with Jordan, a Nike brand. The deal runs through 2027 with an option to go to 2031. If it runs its full course, the school will pocket a minimum of $173 million that includes $85 million in Nike apparel/products.

3. While the schools are bringing in bank, the players are not. They can receive a cost of attendance stipend from the school, which is intended to help with outside school expenses (food, gas, etc). During their college career, they are not allowed to use their athletic ability, name or school name to make money. This is an ongoing debate and if you’d like to read more, this is a great article.

4. Athletes may not be able to be compensated financially but conferences are getting creative, providing covered medical expenses for injured athletes after they leave school and lifetime scholarships to sweeten the deal.

5. College head coaches make as much if not more than most NFL (National Football League) head coaches. The highest coaching salary in the NFL is $9 M. The top three highest paid coaches in college are:

  1. Nick Saban (Alabama Crimson Tide) $11.12 M

  2. Jim Harbaugh (Michigan Wolverines) $7 M

  3. Urban Meyer (Ohio State Buckeyes) $6 M

Don’t worry most college coaches’ salaries come out of ticket sales and TV contracts, not tuition. 


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