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Bloomberg Sports took a look at the finances of the country’s major women’s college basketball programs and discovered that without exception, every school spends on more on the sport than they take in.In the “big six” conferences, most of that money goes to the salaries of coaches, some of whom earn more by themselves than the program earns back in revenue.
At Auburn, for example, salaries and benefits for all coaches totaled $1.1 million even though the program’s entire operating revenue for 2010 was just $64,000. The program posted a $3M total loss.
The results shouldn’t be surprising, however. Only 14 athletic departments in Division I turned a profit last year and more than half of all football programs — easily the most profitable college sport — spend more they make each year. (The rest is made up by student fees and university general funds.)
And even given the big losses, women’s basketball still generates more revenue than any other female sport. Its marquee event — the women’s national championship game — airs on ESPN tonight.