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The Ferentz Extension and the Economics of Iowa Athletics

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For anyone who was questioning Captain Kirk's salary in the wake of his most recent contract extension, read Scott Dochterman's most recent post:

"Over the last four years, Iowa’s football program has been a cash-generating machine for the athletics department. In fiscal years 2005 through 2008, the football program directly earned more than $55.3 million.

In 2008, the program’s expenses totaled more than $26.1 million, netting nearly a $11.9 million profit. That nearly equaled the total revenue generated by all other athletics programs combined.  Iowa’s next most-profitable sport, men’s basketball, generated about $9.2 million for a $3.8 million profit after expenses."

That's right: Football generated as much in profits as all the other programs generated in revenue.  Take it from someone who was there for the transition years; it hasn't always been like that.  Iowa Football is not only the most profitable aspect of Iowa athletics; it's the only thing keeping the athletic department afloat.  And football's continued profitability is only going to be more important next year, with basketball revenues tanking. 

If you want the athletics department gutted, with programs like baseball and tennis thrown overboard, then keep complaining about Ferentz's salary.  But for those of us who take pride in supporting an athletics program that doesn't resemble Iowa State, that $2.8M isn't too much.  Hell, it's a bargain at twice the price.