Despite the economic downturn, which saw a 1.3 percent decrease in the median salary of American households, sports revenue at public colleges and universities increased by 32 percent between 2008 and 2013. Spending on coaches salaries increased by 45 percent.
ESPN's "Outside the Lines" took a look at the numbers and broke them down in a graphic, ranking schools by total revenue, expenses and amount of surplus.
The investigation focused on data from public schools obtained through open records requests. It is unclear whether there is a practice among athletic departments of padding expenses to obscure their bottom line. But at least some departments do give back to their schools, contributing a portion of their surplus back to the university's general fund.