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Volume 27 No. 5
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Back In Black: Tennessee Athletics Operates With $790K '19 Surplus

The Univ. of Tennessee's annual revenue and expense report showed that the athletic department operated at a $789,730 surplus for FY '19 that ended June 30, according to Blake Toppmeyer of the Knoxville NEWS SENTINEL. This comes after UT operated at a $6.5M deficit in FY '18, when it was "weighed down by the burden of buyouts" for former football coach Butch Jones and his staff, as well as a severance for former AD John Currie. Despite the increase, the '19 surplus "pales in comparison" to previous years, as in FY '17, UT operated at a $10.8M surplus, which followed surpluses of $12.4M in '16 and $13.2M in '15. Athletic department revenues for ticket sales ($36.2M) and media rights ($34.9M) increased in FY '19, while contributions ($31.3M) decreased by nearly $3M year-over-year. Coaching, administrative and support staff salaries "remain the department's biggest expense, and they increased" by nearly $3.4M in FY '19 to $51M. Overall, UT had revenue of $143.8M, and $143M in expenses. UT football is the athletic department's "cash cow," bringing in $96.1M in revenue compared to $52.7M in expenses. Despite the team going 5-7 in '18, the football team brought in $29M in ticket revenue in FY '19 (Knoxville NEWS SENTINEL, 1/16).