No athletic department in the nation generated more revenue for the 2015-16 academic year than the Texas A&M Aggies, with the Texas Longhorns just a few million dollars behind as a close second.
USA Today Sports released its annual athletic department revenue list on Thursday with the Aggies serving as the headliner after generating $194,388,450. The Longhorns ranked second on the list with a total revenue of $187,981,158.
Ohio State is a distant third, generating fewer than $17 million less than Texas, while Alabama and Michigan round of the nation’s top five college athletics revenue machines with $164,009,745 and $163,850,616, respectively.
If you’re wondering why Texas isn’t No. 1, as it so often is, keep in mind that USA Today Sports considers stadium contributions and donations for what was totaled as a $483,888,885 renovation to Kyle Field as revenue. The same was the case when Phil Knight, the founder of Nike, donated $95 million to Oregon to upgrade the athletics complex on campus in 2013-14.
Oregon’s revenue has since dropped considerably — the Ducks are No. 23 in USA Today Sports’ list — as will Texas A&M’s the following cycle once the stadium renovations are no longer being reflected, as noted by George Schroeder of USA Today Sports.
NOTE: Next year Texas A&M’s figure could drop by $40 million or more when stadium contributions are no longer reflected in total. https://t.co/haxpxYL9aF— George Schroeder (@GeorgeSchroeder) July 6, 2017
Texas A&M will likely remain in the top 10 of total revenue generated once the stadium contributions are taken off the books, but expect Texas to once again hold the No. 1 spot, as it traditionally does aside from other programs receiving massive donations for renovations or other construction projects.