Comments about ‘BYU, Utah, USU football teams more profitable than Utah Jazz’

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Published: Tuesday, Jan. 8 2013 4:50 p.m. MST

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Centerfield Sanpete, UT

Really! You mean when you pay players millions of dollars you make less than when they play for free?

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

Of course were ritcher than the jazz and Ute. We have fans in China and a real nation following.

Coach Biff
Lehi, UT

I take exception to those calling for collegiate athletes to be paid. How much is a world class education worth? Don't give me that baloney. Collegiate athletes are pampered beyond belief especially when you consider the resources avialable to them that the average student can't afford. Football revenues rightly support many other programs and are a driving force at successful schools, but don't tell me that the payers need a salary. BTW, I'm a former collegiate athlete: BYU football 1986-1992.

Stephen Kent Ehat
Lindon, UT

It is the entertainment industry with a helmet and shoulder pads. Make room on the bench, Hollywood.

Nussdorfer AC
Salt Lake City, UT

It helps when you don't have to pay your players.

High Hill, MO

Lazy Reporting here. The numbers for BYU are 2 years old and cover the reporting period for calendar year 2010, when BYU was still in the MWC. The real data can be found by googling "equity in athletics data cutting tool." I'd put the link here, but you're not allowed to post links. Select "get data from one institution," and search for Brigham Young and then Utah. Click on Revenue and Expenses.

BYU generated $22.4M in revenue in 2011, and had $14.9M in expenses. For the same reporting year Utah generated 20.7M in revenue and had expenses of $14.8M.

Naval Vet
Philadelphia, PA


"It was all those Pac12 stickers that Utah sold..."

No, the article was very specific. Utah's profit was for the Football program ONLY! Not the entire athletic department. Utah Football does not profit from "Pac-12" licensed sales. The Pac-12 does.

Allen, TX

BYU Cougars, Utah Utes and Utah Jazz?

Wow, three mediocre franchises mentioned in one headline....snore.....

Naval Vet
Philadelphia, PA


I looked at the report you referenced. It showed Utah's Football program grossed $20.8M, and netted $5.9M, but it did not cite where the revenues came from. Was that just ticket sales and stadium concessions? Did it include Utah's share of the conference championship game and bowl revenues? We know it didn't include TV revenue since Utah got $0 in 2011.

The Indy-WACers program grossed $22.4M, and netted $7.4M, so that would mean that either TV revenues were left out, or that the Y cashing ESPN checks only nets $1.5M more than the U with no TV revenue. Either way, by the time the 2012-13 figures come out, look to see the Utes' profits pull even FURTHER away from our little brother.

** Interesting factoid: Utah's Basketball program outpaced the Y's financially -- attendance notwithstanding. Utah grossed $5.9M, and netted $2.3M, whereas the Y grossed $5.9M, but netted only $172K.

Alaskan Coug
Anchorage, AK

Interesting data, and of course comparing a business model that is ‘largely” unpaid (except free tuition and housing) will make more then one that over pays its main employees millions. For this to be more meaningful if should look at the last 3-5 years to see a more accurate picture. Also I wonder about the figures about BYU as I know BYU does NOT release this kind of financial information (did someone just guess?) They may be making more or less then this story indicates. Knowing the way BYU runs its institution I expect it is making more then these figures show and still have lower tuition for its students. I also understand that BYU’s Football and Basketball keep the whole athletic department in the blue and therefore the Athletic departments “costs” the school $0. per year. I wonder about U of U and other schools total Athletic budget / costs. So with U of U making this money is the whole athletic department covered or do we still spend tax money on the athletic department?

Iowa City, IA

Did anyone see the final ESPNU fan rankings? It looks like a bunch of Utah fans tried to boost the school's profile.

That's right, according to the fan rankings the bowl ineligible 5-7 Utes finished ranked #28 in the nation. They must have been counting moral victories as well.

Murray, UT


Newsflash, things have changed in 25 years. 10 times more money is generated off video game contracts and TV today than were EVER generated by everything 2 decades ago. ESPN has already signed a BILLION dollar contract with the SEC alone.

Did you know video game contracts allow EA Sports to use the student players in their video games forever without ANY compensation? (Oscar Robertson is still being used and he graduated in 1961)

That Jersey sale money goes straight past the student who's jersey the fans are buying?

Yes, a "world class" (whatever that means) education is worth something; but the BCS Colleges prosper FAR more off of the players than the players EVER get from their University. I mean they don't even pay for the health insurance of those same players! Not because it's right, but because they don't have to.

Raleigh, NC

Just like government welfare: Some take what others earned.

Allen, TX

Hawk - With 35 bowls this year, it's hard to believe Utah was pathetic enough to not make one... Wait, no it's not.


The article completely fails to realize the business model of college sports. The real revenue in college sports is donations. Get to good bowl game and the donations come in. The real dollars in college football are all about white tent events where overly optimistic alumni feel their team is destined to become/remain a great dynasty and they want to be part of it. These donors want access to the players, to practices, to the best seats, to fancy parties and they want their name on buildings and in programs. They pay hundreds of millions of dollars for these "perks." That's where the real money is made.

West Jordan, UT

Let me get this right. So Utah's profit from football is roughly twice that of BYU, even when they haven't gotten a full share of the TV revenue? But I thought ESPN was paying BYU boatloads of money to be shown every Saturday night at 10:15 EST against the likes of New Mexico State.

As one astute poster pointed out, it might partially be because of the PAC12 logos the Utes have sold. BYU has been trying to cash in on the independence logo, but Holmoe is still doing Google searches to see if there are any of those in stock around and can't find them.

Besides the money, I just like attending with my season tickets knowing it will actually be a game. I was tired of walking into RES knowing Utah would beat Wyoming by 20 points. I much prefer to trade in my 11-0 season for a competitive league that is a challenge to win each week. I hope they finish higher than this year, but the PAC12 trade was a huge blessing in the lives of us Utah fans.

Sandy, UT

@Y Grad / Y Dad Kraylon

Actually they don't....

Pleasant Grove, UT

Missing from this equation: Pro teams do not have dozens of other athletic teams to support. What about the costs associated with BYU/Utah softball, gymnastics, basketball, diving, swimming, Track and Field, soccer, baseball, volleyball, etc.? Viewed in isolation, football turns a profit, but those profits are necessarily funneled to underwrite other unprofitable sports.

Old Jake
Salt Lake City, UT

Players commit way too much of their life to make money for the school. Some of these guys are never the same after playing college football. Knees, back, neck are all jacked up.

While the schools make millions. And pay coaches millions. Total joke.

Athletes are restricted from working. Internships are almost impossible to do.

They all hope to go to the NFL but most don't. They jeopardize the rest of their life by being too tired to really get into school and learn. Football dominates their life. Coaches, media, fans..everyone is wearing them out.

They pay too high of a price just to be manipulated by the schools in exchange for a scholarship.

Sandy, UT

Excellent information!

You are correct, these number are not up to date nor current.
They do not reflect BYU since Independence whatsoever.

Here is more current data regarding BYU and Utah's athletic budgets...

Reporting year 7/1/2011 - 6/30/2012

$20,759,062 revenues (Football)
$14,835,266 expenses (Football)

Total Salaries (coaches)
mens $6,016,192
womens $2,005,609
total $8,021,801

Grand Total Revenues for all Teams $46,153,197
Grand Total Revenues Minus Grand Total Expenses $0 (profit)

Reporting year 1/2/2011 - 1/1/2012

$22,406,413 revenues (Football)
$14,991,538 expenses (Football)

Total Salaries (coaches)
mens $3,101,580
womens $1,172,420
total $4,274,000

Grand Total Revenues for all Teams $53,033,500
Grand Total Revenues Minus Grand Total Expenses $4,698,770 (profit)

Again, BYU is doing just fine controlling their own Brand and the accompanying Exposure which that brings.

The days of obscurity in the MWC are in the rear view mirror now for BYU.

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