are big business, and especially college football teams are bringing in huge revenue and profit streams despite technically consisting of amateur athletes. Analysis by Forbes
shows that the most valuable among all NCAA football teams are the Texas A&M Aggies, which have an annual average revenue of US$148 million, followed by the University of Texas team, the Longhorns, with an annual average revenue of US$133 million.
The NCAA basketball teams play in a different league when it comes to profits and make much less. Yet, the most valuable basketball team, Louisville, turned a bigger annual average profit than some NBA teams, namely the Cleveland Cavaliers, Oklahoma City Thunder or the Charlotte Hornets, according to Forbes’ analysis of NCAA basketball.
The high profits generated by NCAA teams have come back into the spotlight recently as a result of the nationwide admissions scandal, which used university athletic programs, among other tactics, to illegitimately place students in elite colleges and universities. Critics of the programs argue that smaller, less profitable college sports programs were used to help rich and mainly white students gain access to elite universities, while profitable programs like football and basketball are propped up by minority amateur athletes who are unpaid.