According to figures released recently by USA Today, Oklahoma State made $117,803,302 and spent $109,648,000 in 2013-14 - good for a tidy $8,155,302 profit. But in a recent interview with John Hoover of the Tulsa World, Oklahoma State AD Mike Holder says that number might as well be zero, noting "college athletics is not a business you would want to invest in."
“We’re not making any money. We’re spending it all on the athlete,” he said. “I would say that the facility is good for the athlete. I would say first-rate coaches, that’s good for the athlete. Academic support, that’s good. Whatever you spend on food, whatever you spend on lodging. We’re spending a lot of money, it’s just all in an effort to aid that student-athlete.”
We can personally attest to the Cowboys' investment in their dining and training facilities.
The numbers on both ends never stop going up. The College Football Playoff has proven to be an increase over the BCS, TV contracts only keep rising, and ticket prices never get any cheaper, either. But on the other end, cost of attendance scholarships are coming, not to mention the moneys needed to cover the O'Bannon and EA Sports trial results.
“We’ll manage to find the money somewhere. We always seem to," Holder said of COA scholarships (may I suggest that $8.1 million in profit?). "It’s always a challenge to balance your budget in college athletics. We’ve been fortunate enough to pay our own way. We don’t make a lot of money, but we’re not losing any. College athletics just has an insatiable appetite for capital. There’s just never enough. It’s amazing.”