NIU Today
NIU Today

Mid-American Conference schools don’t make a lot of money. Thanks to an extensive study by Jon Styf of ChicagoFootball.com, we now know exactly how much they make (or, perhaps more accurately, don’t make).

While revenue for all 12 MAC schools (football-only UMass not included) sat between $22 million and $32 million, profit – err, budget surplus – varied wildly.

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The conference collectively lost nearly $3.8 million in 2013-14, but take Toledo’s share out and the league essentially broke even.

What if we singled out just the football programs?

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The specter hanging over all this is that costs are only going up. Cost-of-attendance scholarships are coming, and MAC commissioner Dr. Jon Steinbrecher committed last fall to paying the new cost of business. That money, the league plans, will be offset thanks to new contracts with ESPN (#MACtion!) and the league’s kickback from the massive College Football Playoff contract.

We’ll spare you the minutiae of NCAA distributions and student fees and institutional sport and skip right to what I found most interesting from the study: recruiting budgets.

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Again, these numbers are from 2013-14, which means Dave Clawson found a way to win the MAC while spending less than $85,000 in recruiting. Some SEC schools spend that on breakfast.

If you’re interested enough in MAC finances to reach the end of this article, I strongly encourage you to check out the full report.

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National columnist - Zach joined the staff in 2012...and has been attempting to improve Doug and Scott's writing ability ever since (to little avail). Outside of football season, you can find him watching the San Antonio Spurs reading Game of Thrones fan theories.