Football is king at LSU.
That’s now backed up by financial details in an audit of the Tigers’ athletic department released this week.
LSU made more than $57 million on football in the 2014-15 academic year, and the Tiger Athletic Foundation donated nearly $12 million to the athletic department in 2014, according to the audit obtained by The Advocate.
The audit was carried out by an independent certified public accounting firm last spring and is performed each year to assist LSU President F. King Alexander in evaluating the athletic department, according to the documents.
There were no findings from the audit.
TAF, a private, nonprofit corporation supporting LSU athletics, does not normally reveal its financial details, but they were released in the audit findings.
The club gave LSU athletics $11,817,552 in the calendar year 2014. Booster clubs and “affiliated chapters” gave another $2.2 million to push contributions to $14 million in 2014 – much of what went to football. Donations to athletic facilities are not included in that sum.
The football program received $3.6 million, far out-distancing the $184,666 given to men’s basketball. Nearly $8 million of the $14 million was not listed to a specific sports program. Women’s basketball received $120,741 from booster clubs, TAF and chapters. All other sports, including baseball, took in $1.6 million.
Included in the audit were details of the athletic department’s revenues and expenses for the fiscal year 2015, starting on July 1, 2014 and running through June 30, 2015.
LSU brought in $138 million in 2014-15 and spent $126 million for a profit of about $12 million. The department’s football revenue totaled $85 million and included a whopping $35.8 million in ticket sales, $11.1 million in “media rights” and $6.3 million distributed from the Southeastern Conference.
The department spent $28.2 million on football, $11.4 million of which went to coaching salaries, benefits and bonuses and $3.7 million on athletic student aid (scholarships).
Men’s basketball made a profit of $1.9 million. Women’s basketball lost $3.4 million, and all other sports lost $15 million.
In all, LSU spent $13.2 million on student financial aid (scholarships) and $22 million on coaching salaries, benefits and bonuses in 2014-15. It spent $17 million on support staff and administrative salaries, benefits and bonuses.
LSU football signed the composite No. 3-ranked 2016 recruiting class last week and signed the composite No. 6-ranked 2015 recruiting class last February. The football program spent $822,294 on recruiting in – nearly equal to the combined amount spent on recruiting by all other sports. TAF gave more than $260,000 to football’s recruiting efforts.
Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter @RossDellenger.