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Mid-American Conference financial reports for 2015-2016 fiscal year released

Find out which MAC team brought in the most revenue and which one incurred the most debt with this handy reference article.

Eastern Michigan Vs. Wyoming Football in Pictures

USA Today released its much-anticipated annual report of NCAA Division I school financial numbers on Saturday, and it revealed a lot about how your favorite schools stack up.

Numbers from the 2015-2016 academic year showed in general that the rich got richer. Six of the top 10 schools on the list had $0 in allocated funds for their academic programs, while all but two (Michigan and Ohio State) made tens of millions in profits.

The first Group of Five school to make an appearance (Connecticut) was 46th on the list and only turned $17,521 in profit despite having almost $80 million in revenue. Coincidentally, UConn was also the first school on the list to have an allocation mark above 34 percent, coming in at a staggering 44.52 percent. Rutgers’ 34 percent allocation is a blip in the Power Five world, where the allocation falls on average anywhere from zero to 18.5 percent.

Mid-American Conference institutions found themselves in the middle of the FBS landscape in terms of being revenue makers, with schools ranging from the high 70’s to low 100’s. Some of the lower teams found themselves outspent by FCS programs or programs with no football squad.

A sortable table with this year’s numbers and net profits from last season has been provided for your perusal below.

Rank (overall) School Total revenue Total expenses Total allocated Total percent allocated Net profit/loss Net profit/loss from 2014/15 fiscal year Net change
1 (72) Western Michigan $37,650,232 $37,643,168 $24,248,036 64.4 $7,064 $1,443,100 -$1,436,036
2 (76) Akron $34,587,155 $35,378,884 $23,813,277 68.85 $208,271 -$2,298,542 $2,090,271
3 (78) Buffalo $34,267,566 $34,219,719 $24,811,219 72.4 $47,847 $272,012 -$224,165
4 (79) Miami $33,661,856 $33,285,723 $23,771,560 70.62 $376,133 $363,072 $13,061
5 (88) Ohio $31,882,732 $31,168,868 $20,263,483 63.56 $713,864 $1,598,970 -$885,106
6 (91) Central Michigan $31,151,419 $29,618,926 $21,726,181 69.74 $1,532,493 -$629,375 $903,118
7 (95) Eastern Michigan $30,212,703 $30,212,703 $24,307,633 80.46 $0 -$1 $1
8 (100) Northern Illinois $28,521,887 $28,746,741 $17,664,391 61.93 -$224,854 $356,371 -$131,517
9 (105) Toledo $27,913,179 $33,289,417 $14,759,749 52.88 -$5,376,238 -$3,399,649 -$1,976,589
10 (117) Kent State $26,018,611 $28,029,169 $19,288,226 74.13 -$2,010,558 -$383,132 -$1,627,426
11 (120) Ball State $25,542,539 $27,226,309 $18,327,036 71.75 -$1,683,770 -$2,695,062 $1,011,292
12 (126) Bowling Green $22,836,309 $23,719,835 $12,528,362 54.86 -$883,526 $1,896 -$881,630

There’s a few surprising things from this table that caught the eyes of our writers here:

  • Even before WMU’s wild run of success in football, they were raking in cash. USA Today’s numbers take the 2016 fiscal year into account, which ends in October 2016. Per these numbers, WMU brought in about $37 million in revenue. That number will surely be higher for the 2017 fiscal year.
  • Buffalo’s financial troubles have been well documented, with the program recently cutting four different sports. The move saved the school about $2 million. At least in the 2016 fiscal year, Buffalo was running at a net profit, scoring $47,847 in the black. 2017 may prove to be different, but we’ll just have to wait and see on that front.
  • EMU was the subject of much controversy in 2016 after being a subject in HBO’s “Real Sports” documentary series about the cost of being at the FBS level. According to these numbers, EMU produced an even $0 net profit. That could be thanks to a startling 80.46 percent allocation from the school and state to keep the program afloat. It’s scary to think how it could look with even a five percent cut to the allocation.
  • Toledo easily outpaces its MAC peers in terms of debts incurred in the 2016 fiscal year, accruing approximately $5 million in debt. That’s about $3.3 million than the second-place school in the same category (Kent State.) For perspective, Cal Poly, who made only $425,500 more in revenue in 2016 turned a $2.6 million profit.
  • CMU was the most profitable of the 12 full-time MAC members, bringing in approximately $1.5 million in profits. That total is handicapped, however, but a 69.74 percent allocation, putting it in the more expensive half of the conference.

Last year’s numbers from USA Today can be found here.