How 2015 College Football Playoff Teams Make and Spend Money

By JON SOLOMON | CBS Sports

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Money isn’t everything to succeed in college football. In the brief two-year history of the College Football Playoff, Clemson has spent the fewest athletic dollars to reach the playoff.

Clemson generates considerably less money and spends far less than Alabama, Michigan State and Oklahoma. But it’s the Tigers who are the undefeated No. 1 seed in the College Football Playoff.

Clemson’s athletic department spent $73.5 million in 2013-14, while the other three CFP schools all exceeded $107 million for athletic expenses. Interestingly though, Clemson was No. 2 among the CFP teams in two key financial categories: salaries for football assistant coaches and support staff. In those measurements, the Tigers are closer to Alabama than they are to Michigan State and Oklahoma.

How do the four CFP teams make and spend their money? CBS Sports analyzed each school’s 2013-14 NCAA financial reports and other documents for answers. NCAA financial reports from 2014-15 are not available yet so most of the numbers listed below are on a two-year lag. Unless otherwise noted, all of the figures are from 2013-14 numbers the schools reported to the NCAA.

FINANCES OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF TEAMS
CATEGORY Clemson
CLEMSON
Alabama
ALABAMA
Michigan State
MICHIGAN STATE
Oklahoma
OKLAHOMA
Total Operating Athletic Revenue $74.79 million $153.23 million $104.68 million $129.23 million
Total Athletic Revenue (2005-14)^ $596.10 million $1.12 billion $832.88 million $918.26 million
Sports/Scholarship Athletes 19 sports / 378 athletes 21 sports / 462 athletes 25 sports / 510 athletes 21 sports / 403 athletes
Annual Debt for Athletic Facilities
(% of university debt used for athletics)
$2.31 million (13%) $14.70 million (25%) $6.00 million (7%) $9.88 million (5%)
Approximate Cost of Attendance Stipend to Players* $3,906 $5,386 $2,916 $4,605
Football Ticket Sales $17.95 million $34.92 million $17.67 million $33.43 million
Donations to Athletic Department $19.26 million $32.20 million $29.72 million $33.36 million
Direct Institutional Support $4.38 million $6.00 million $388,823 $0
Student Fee Revenue $0 $0 $0 $0
NCAA/Conference Payouts $20.43 million $23.28 million $31.26 million $25.95 million
Broadcast, TV, Radio, Internet Rights $2.69 million $13.66 million $1.23 million $5.23 million
Royalties, Licensing, Advertising and Sponsorships $4.78 million $15.47 million $7.50 million $12.80 million
Football Camp Revenue $0 $730,580 $234,558 $0
Nike 2015-16 Contract Value~ $2.52 million $3.67 million $2.80 million $3.34 million
Total Operating Athletic Expenses $73.46 million $120.18 million $107.42 million $113.37 million
Total Athletic Expenses (2005-14)^ $586.59 million $958.00 million $818.54 million $848.94 million
Football Scholarship Costs/Players on Athletic Aid $4.11 million / 94 players $3.83 million / 121 players $3.50 million / 90 players $3.36 million / 85 players
Football Coach Pay in 2015-16^ Dabo Swinney
$3.31 million
Nick Saban
$7.09 million
Mark Dantonio
$3.67 million
Bob Stoops
$5.40 million
Maximum CFP Bonuses For Football Coach^ $875,000 $310,000 $250,000 $625,000
Football Assistant Coaches Pay $5.53 million $6.57 million $4.04 million $4.75 million
Football Support Staff Pay $2.48 million $2.66 million $1.44 million $1.09 million
Football Recruiting Expenses (% of overall recruiting expenses) $694,135 (47%) $1.28 million (58%) $647,875 (45%) $880,541 (44%)
Athletic Department Medical Expenses/Insurance $633,310 $2.47 million $1.43 million $1.32 million
Medical Expenses/Insurance Per Scholarship Athlete $1,675 $5,355 $2,805 $3,276
Athletic Department Money Transferred to University $1.26 million $9.12 million $475,000 $3.18 million