The Real Winners In The NCAA

30 03 2010

The Louisville Cardinals dominated the NCAA this year in terms of profits. (Image via

This year’s March Madness has been full of unexpected NCAA winners and losers.  While several Cinderella teams have dominated the scoreboard so far, these lesser-known athletic programs can’t always compete when it comes to dollar signs.

As dictated by the Equity in Athletics requirement, colleges are required to file any profits they generate over the course of the year. Darren Rovell at CNBC scoured the documents.  Here is some of the information he found:

  • The most profitable NCAA team was the Louisville Cardinals.  The Cardinals, who made it to round two of the tournament, reported a profit of $16,869,659 for 2009.
  • Only one of the 15 most profitable NCAA programs – Michigan State – made it to the Final Four.
  • Nike was the biggest winner.  It had apparel/gear partnerships with six of the ten most profitable NCAA schools.  Adidas lagged behind with four, while UnderAmour was completely edged out.
  • Duke reported a $2 million loss.  While this may come as a surprise, the University warns it is because the basketball program’s income was shared through out the athletic department.

Here are the 15 most profitable NCAA teams, as reported by

Rank Program 2009 Profit Madness Success
1. Louisville Cardinals $16,869,659 Round One
2. Ohio State Buckeyes $11,417,941 Sweet Sixteen
3. Wisconsin Badgers $9,454,260 Round Two
4. Syracuse Orange $9,032,878 Sweet Sixteen
5. Minnesota Golden Gophers $7,843,045 Round One
6. Kansas Jayhawks $7,517,783 Round Two
7. Tennessee Volunteers $7,111,804 Elite Eight
8. Texas Longhorns $6,878,617 Round One
9. Michigan State Spartans $6,561,127 Final Four
10. Kentucky Wildcats $6,157,308 Elite Eight
11. Maryland Terrapins $5,902,659 Round Two
12. Oklahoma State Cowboys $5,886,238 Round One
13. Pittsburgh Panthers $5,762,520 Round Two
14. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets $5,334,856 Round Two
15. Xavier Musketeers $4,853,052 Sweet Sixteen





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