UF athletic program again scores a profit

Fireworks go off while Gators fans sing a Tom Petty song between the third and fourth quarter during the game against the Florida State Seminoles at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Nov. 30. [Matt Pendleton/Correspondent]

 Thanks to football, Florida’s powerful economic engine, the University Athletic Association has posted another successful year financially, pulling in a profit of $17.9 million for the 2019 fiscal year.

 That’s almost six million more than a year ago, when the UAA’s profit was reported at $12,039,389. 

 The big difference between 2018 and 2019 is in severance payments. UF paid out $12,862,810 two years ago, the bulk of that ($12,295,959) going to buyouts for former football coaches Jim McElwain and Will Muschamp. The overall payout in 2019 was only $370,800.

  As it always does, the football program led the way for UF’s 21 sports teams in 2019, producing a profit of $47,950,819. The program had a total operational revenue of $87,450,485 to go along with expenses of $39,499,666.

 The figures are in UF’s annual financial report that was recently sent to the SEC Office. USA Today acquired a copy of the report.

 Men’s basketball was the only other program to make a profit, bringing in $2,455,291 in 2019. UF’s 19 other programs, which traditionally generate limited or no revenue, finished the year $33,528,175 in the red.

 Football’s largest revenues were generated by contributions from fans and boosters ($32,418,131), ticket sales ($26,106,819), media rights ($12,696,33), the SEC bowl distribution ($8,498,033) and bowl revenue ($2,696,050).

 The program’s biggest expenses were for coaches’ salaries ($12,050,286), game expenses ($5,446,663), team travel ($1,950,668) and bowl expenses ($1,760,352).

 Men’s basketball, the only other program to show a profit, had a total operational revenue of $12,172,678 and expenses of $9,717,387 for a total in the black of $2,455,291.

 Basketball’s biggest revenues came through media rights ($3,461,383), contributions ($2,825,945) and ticket sales ($2,400,413). The biggest expenses were for coaches’ salaries ($3,595,047), team travel ($1,274,007) and athletic facilities debt service, leases and rental fee ($1,090,611).

 The overall operational revenue for UF’s 21 programs was $159,706,937, with expenses of $141,829. The expenses are more than $7 million less than last year’s.

 In 2017, the overall athletic program had a profit of $17,375,976, with football generating a profit of $43,726,034. In 2016, the UAA’s overall profit was $20,133,9936, with football generating a profit of $47,803,655.

On Thursday, the SEC announced a total revenue of $651 million for the 2018-19 fiscal year. This is up from a $627 million in 2017-18. Each of the conference schools will receive $44.6 million.