College athletic departments are turning a huge profit off athletes, right? Well, maybe not.
The USA Today does a tremendous job each year compiling the balance sheets of every public institution in Division I's athletic department. In the 2013-14 fiscal, the Big Ten and SEC dominated the standings of moneymaking.
Oregon held the top overall spot for this period, raking in almost $200 million in revenue. Michigan (2nd), Ohio State (5th), Wisconsin (8th), Penn State (12th), Minnesota (15th), Iowa (16th), and Michigan State (18th) gave the Big Ten seven of the top 20 schools in the rankings -- a number matched only by the SEC. By contrast, the ACC and Pac-12 only managed one school each in the top 20 of the rankings in Oregon and Florida State (17th).
Indiana came in 9th among Big Ten teams, bringing in around $84 million in the 2013-14 fiscal. The department also spent around $80 million and received a state subsidy of around $3 million.
Full standings are below. Purdue was last, but Rutgers "cheated" to get out of last -- receiving a $36 million subsidy to support the athletic department. Maryland also received a large $18 million subsidy. It's worth noting, however, that both of those schools were still transitioning out of the AAC and ACC during the 2013-14 fiscal and had large exit fees to pay. Northwestern does not have to report financial numbers because they are a private institution not subject to Illinois open records laws.
Of course, it's easy for schools to "cook the books" on these numbers -- often spending money that might not need to be spend in order to equate the balance sheet. So these can ultimately be taken with a grain of salt, if you're looking to make an argument for or against the pay-for-play model.