Earlier this week we learned that Illinois is going to receive about $25.7 million from the Big Ten, which is a pretty nice chunk of change. And it's that chunk of change that went a long way to making 2012 a profitable year for Illinois athletics.
That's actually not the case for most athletic departments across the country. In fact, of the 228 schools featured in the USA Today's database released this week, only 23 athletic departments brought in enough revenue to cover their expenses.
Illinois brought in $78,708, 250 in revenue in 2012, which was good enough for ninth in the Big Ten. Of course, since it's a private school, Northwestern isn't included in the list. Here are the Big Ten athletic departments ranked by revenue with their national rank in parentheses.
1. Ohio State (2) - $142,043,057
2. Michigan (3) - $140,131,187
3. Penn State (8) - $108,252,281
4. Wisconsin (11) - $103,803,040
5. Iowa (15) - $97, 902,974
6. Michigan State (17) - $93,946,707
7. Minnesota (23) - $83,619,526
8. Nebraska (26) - $81,631,252
9. Illinois (29) - $78,708,250
10. Indiana (31) - $72,973,954
11. Purdue (35) - $70,624,394
12. Northwestern (229) - $15*
Illinois made a profit of $1,967,514, which is nice but it's not close to the nearly $25 million Michigan made in 2012. It's also a bit misleading. If you remove the subsidies ($3,937,890) the school received -- you know, the kind that include some of your tuition money that goes toward the athletic department -- the fact is Illinois lost $1.97 million.
And until Illinois' profits start reaching the level that Michigan is at we can probably forget about the dream of Big Ten hockey around here.