Nebraska top 25 nationally — but middle of Big Ten — in athletic department revenues

Nebraska’s revenues of $120,205,090 ranked seventh in the Big Ten. Its expenses — $112,571,632 — ranked 24th nationally and seventh in the league.

Nebraska’s 2016-17 fiscal year athletic department revenue ranked 23rd nationally among reporting public universities, according to a USA Today database released Thursday.

NU’s revenues of $120,205,090 ranked seventh in the Big Ten. Its expenses — $112,571,632 — ranked 24th nationally and eighth in the league. Iowa’s revenues ($130,681,467) and expenses ($128,869,211) ranked 18th and 15th nationally, respectively.

The USA Today database does not include reporting from private schools such as Notre Dame, Southern California and Stanford, all of which would presumably have big budgets and revenue sources. It is doubtful any private school could top No. 1 Texas, which took in a nation-leading $214,830,647 in revenue and spent a nation-leading $207,022,323.

Ohio State and Michigan were Nos. 3 and 4 nationally in revenue and Nos. 3 and 2 nationally in expenses. Four Big Ten schools — Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin and Penn State — ranked in the nation’s top 10 in expenses. Penn State was 14th in revenue, while Wisconsin was 15th.

The Huskers’ revenue stream is likely to receive a major bump in the next fiscal year, when a full share of Big Ten distribution money kicks in. According to documents obtained by The World-Herald, NU got a little more than $26 million from the league for 2016-17. Michigan’s athletic department announced last week that it received a $51.1 million distribution from the Big Ten for television agreements. Nebraska now gets the same as any full-share school.

Among other revenues, Nebraska received more than $37 million from ticket sales, $26.4 million from private donations or money over face value on tickets, nearly $19.9 million in royalties, licensing, advertisements and sponsorships and $5.9 million in concession sales.

Among expenses, NU spent $11,836,616 on student-athlete aid/scholarships, $17,953,170 on coaching salaries, $24,006,816 on support staff/administration compensation and bonuses, and $23 million on direct overhead expenses such as utilities, maintenance, security, supplies and security; $6.6 million on team travel, $2.3 million on marketing and promotion, $2,126,663 on the Music City Bowl, and $2,376,594 on recruiting.

Nebraska again received no student fees or university-side support.

Other items in Nebraska’s report to the NCAA, submitted in December 2017:

»  The 2016 football team had 139 participants and used the equivalent of 82.02 full scholarships. Nebraska’s new coach, Scott Frost, desires to make the roster 150 players eventually. Athletic Director Bill Moos has said it may take time to get the roster up to 150 because of Title IX concerns.

»  Nebraska spent $983,200 on football recruiting for 2016-17. That mostly includes expenses in putting together the 2017 recruiting class. The Husker men’s basketball team spent $553,286 on recruiting.

»  There were 416 male participants and 351 female participants in Nebraska sports in 2016-17. When duplicate participants are removed — runners in track and cross country, for example — the division tilts even more toward the men, 336-253.

»  Pell Grants were awarded to 107 Nebraska athletes, who received $458,616 in grant monies that do not need to be paid back to the federal government. Seventy-nine male athletes — 37 in football — and 28 female athletes received some sort of Pell Grant assistance. In 2015-16, 131 Nebraska athletes received Pell Grant assistance.

Sign up for Big Red Today news alerts

Get a daily Husker news roundup, recruiting updates and breaking news in your inbox.

Reporter - Nebraska athletics

Sam covers Nebraska football, recruiting, women's basketball and more for The World-Herald. Follow him on Twitter @swmckewonOWH. Email:

Commenting is limited to Omaha World-Herald subscribers. To sign up, click here.

If you're already a subscriber and need to activate your access or log in, click here.

Load comments

You must be a full digital subscriber to read this article You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.