Ann Arbor, MI. The University of Michigan spent $151,144,964 on Athletics in 2014-2015, the third largest amount in the nation behind only Texas and Ohio State, respectively. The numbers were published by USA Today in its annual report on NCAA Finances, which can be viewed here.
Michigan’s total revenue actually fell by about $5 million from 2013-14, due in large part to buyouts in the final year of both former head football coach Brady Hoke and former athletic director Dave Brandon’s tenures. Disappointing ticket sales during the final year of their tenures also contributed to the decrease in revenue.
Michigan’s total expenditures are expected to increase for the 2015-2016 year, as the contracts of new head football coach Jim Harbaugh and his staff will be counted as a part of that number.
Even as Michigan’s athletics expenditures rise, the department is likely to see an increase in revenue. Football ticket sales increased following Harbaugh’s hiring, and it is expected that those numbers will boost the department’s revenue despite the basketball program’s inability to sell tickets.
Large swaths of empty seats at the Crisler Center have plagued Michigan for the past two seasons, and this year the basketball program is seeing a major loss in student season ticket renewals. This is likely a result of the teams’ mediocre play the last two seasons.
However, expect the increase in football ticket sales to offset any drop in basketball ticket sales, and look for Michigan to see a large increase in revenue in the numbers that will account for Harbaugh’s first season.