The folks at BusinessInsider.com recently released a study that estimated the value of collegiate athletes to the program that they are a part of. Business Insider took the total revenue generated by a school’s football program and multiplied it by 47%, the minimum value that NFL players must receive of the league’s total revenue. They then divided that number by 85, the number of scholarships that a football team is allowed.
The University of Texas’ football program produces more money than any other program in the country. Business Insider’s formula revealed that the average value of a Texas Longhorn football players is $578,000.
As I’m sure you are well aware, the University of Louisville’s men’s basketball program produces more revenue than any other hoops program in the country and it isn’t even close. The folks at RushTheCourt.net, a blog that specifically covers college basketball used the Business Insider formula to determine the value of a Louisville basketball player.
Louisville‘s hoops revenue of $42.4 million in 2012 is divided in half given the NBA’s rough 50/50 split with the players, leaving $21.2 million to be split 13 ways. The result: a Cardinals’ basketball player is worth $1.63 million to the university (if you buy into this methodology). This is the mistake that many of these gridiron-centric analyses don’t realize — while it’s definitely true that football provides more aggregate revenue to the schools, the players in college basketball are individually much more valuable.
Basically, Louisville basketball players are three times more valuable than the highest valued college football player. It’s pretty remarkable how much revenue the Louisville basketball program brings in each year.