Ole Miss athletics generate $117.8 million in 2017; football nets $27.3-million profit

Published 3:03 pm Monday, January 29, 2018

Ole Miss’ athletic programs turned in a profit of nearly $9 million in 2017 — a slight drop from the previous year.

Ole Miss athletics brought in $117,834,511 and had $108,885,512 in expenses to net a profit of $8,948,999, according to the school’s member financial report filed with the NCAA for the 2017 fiscal year. It’s a dip from the profit of $13,419,662 the school reported for the 2016 fiscal year.

But football once again thrived as the department’s primary revenue stream despite the cloud of the NCAA’s long-running investigation hovering over the program until a final ruling was issued in December.

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The football program netted a profit of $27,363,772 last year, nearly a $5-million increase from the $22,641,077 brought in during the 2016 fiscal year. Ole Miss generated $23,738,310 in season ticket sales with football being responsible for $20,863,713 of that — a jump of nearly $3 million from the $17,965,264 worth sold the previous year — while $14,397,196 of the $31,681,284 in contributions the department received went to football.

It remains to be seen how contributions for the 2018 fiscal year will be affected by the new GOP tax bill, which eliminated the 80-percent deduction donors used to get on their federal taxes for contributions made toward priority seating at athletic events.

Ole Miss brought in $33,878,437 in television, radio and other media rights as well as $8,910,387 from the SEC’s revenue-sharing plan with football being the main source of income. Football accounted for $14,447,762 of the revenue generated from media rights and $6,913,799 of the conference’s distribution.

The department’s largest expense was compensation for coaches, who made a collective $19,121,582 last year. Ole Miss paid $5,000,766 in base salary and bonuses to former football coach Hugh Freeze, whose forced resignation last year didn’t come until after the fiscal year ended in June.

The athletic department operated at a budget of $105.8 million last year. That figure will increase to $112.9 million for the 2018 fiscal year.