Tennessee continues to have one of the most profitable athletic departments in the country even as the Vols had their worst Learfield Director’s Cup finish in the 23-year history of the all-sports standings.
Tennessee athletics made $140,448,955 in total revenue in 2016, No. 9 in the country, according to revenue figures posted by USA Today.
SEC schools Texas A&M ($194,388,450), Alabama ($164,009,745), LSU ($141,651,460) and Florida ($141,441,10) made more than the Vols in 2016, according to the report.
Tennessee spent a total of $128,011,504 for a profit margin of $12,437,451.
The largest portion of Tennessee’s revenue came from rights fees and licensing with $61,453,383.
Ticket sales and contributions brought in $36,844,478 and $34,082,765, respectively. The category “other” brought the Vols $7,068,329, and student fees made up the final $1 million.
Tennessee’s revenue took a $14 million jump from 2015 when the athletic department brought in $126,584,033.
The all-sports performance, however, dropped 12 spots from 34th during the 2015-2016 sports calendar.
Tennessee finished 2016-2017 with 509 points for No. 46 in the nation — six spots lower than the previous historic low of No. 40 in 2013-14.
The Vols’ all-time high rank in the all-sports trophy came in 2006-07, when Tennessee was No. 7.
But this past year, the Vols ranked No. 12 in the SEC, in front of only Mississippi State and Vanderbilt.
Florida scored the most points in the SEC with 1,252.50, which ranked third nationally behind Director’s Cup champ Stanford (1,517.50 points) and runner-up Ohio State.
Men’s track and field brought the most points to the Vols as a spring sport. The track and field team received a boost from Christian Coleman, who swept the 100- and 200-meter finals at the national meet in Oregon.
Tennessee athletic director John Currie made it clear he wants to see more success across the board.
“Let’s not run away from the idea that winning is very important,” Currie said Thursday on WKGN AM-1340.
“The vast majority of student athletes, if they won, had a better (college) experience,” said Currie, who regularly conducts exit interviews with students. “It’s OK to remember that winning is part of a great student-athlete experience.”