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Record revenue helps support student-athletes at Ohio State

Ohio State reports $210 million in athletic revenue, student aid increase

The Ohio State University Department of Athletics increased athletic student aid last year by 3.6%, according to the most recent financial report filed to the NCAA. According to the report, the university distributed $22,070,556 in financial aid in 2019, compared to $21,305,478 reported in 2018.

The university is one of the largest athletic departments in the nation in size and revenue. Total revenue in 2019 was $210,548,239, up from $205,556,663 in 2018 – an increase of 2.4%. Expenses were $220,572,956, according to the report.

The NCAA report does not include $10.4 million in contributions from gifts that primarily support capital projects. Joe Odoguardi, executive associate athletic director for finance, said the NCAA report does not include donations that go directly to “plant” funds. These funds are used to account for the costs of construction and capital projects, like the newly opened Covelli Center, Shumaker Student Athlete Development Complex, and a renovated Woody Hayes Athletic Facility.

Odoguardi said the university’s internal financial documents included these contributions and show a deficit of $624,359. The athletics department’s reserve fund, which is about $8.9 million at the end of 2019, covered the shortfall, and the department continued to provide funding for programs, initiatives and facilities across the university. Ohio State’s athletic department is self-funded, receives no tuition or tax dollars, and generates revenue for the university’s academic mission.

Some of the additional highlights from the report include:

  • Ticket sales, the largest single source of athletics revenue, brought in $59,847,907 in 2019, a decrease from the $69,160,661 reported in 2018 due to a stronger home non-conference schedule (notably the Oklahoma game).
  • Media rights – revenue from radio, television and digital – increased to $45.6 million in 2019, 7.1% higher than the $42.5 million received in 2018.
  • Coaching salaries in 2019 totaled about $39.3 million, a slight increase over the $38.9 million in 2018.
  • The athletic department also saw an increase in money from sponsorships and licensing agreements. Revenue from these deals increased from about $20.2 million in 2018 to nearly $23 million in 2019.

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