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UB has largest athletic revenue in Mid-American Conference, report says

The University at Buffalo has the largest athletic revenue in the Mid-American Conference for the 2017-2018 fiscal year, USA Today's annual report of athletic revenue shows.

UB's total of $40.8 million ranks No. 73 nationally of the 230 Division I public colleges and universities surveyed in the report, which was released Monday.

The revenue is up 12% from 2016-17's total of $35.9 million and a 29% increase in five years from $28.9 million in 2012-13.

UB’s athletic expenses for 2017-18 amounted to $40.7 million, meaning a profit of about $71,000. Expenses rose from $35.9 million in the previous year.

Through an athletic department spokesman, UB clarified some of the changes in its year-to-year revenue.

UB had a $5 million increase in school funds for 2017-18, from $16.6 million to $21.6 million. Between 2010 and 2017, that increase typically fell anywhere between about $100,000 to $1.8 million annually, but due to a change in reporting requirements to the NCAA, UB had to include calculated benefit costs for all its athletic employees, including health care, dental, vision and retirement plans.

UB’s rights fees decreased by $500,000, in part because it did not receive a one-time surplus distribution of $800,000 from the NCAA that it received for the 2017 fiscal year. That distribution was part of a $200 million, one-time distribution in 2017 to schools that were Division I members in 2015-16, from an NCAA quasi-endowment established in 2004, which would support future student-athlete programming and national-office operations.

Under a category labeled “other,” UB also gained more than $400,000, due to an increase in guaranteed revenue from non-conference football and basketball games.

Central Michigan has the second-highest athletic revenue in the MAC at nearly $40 million, according to the USA Today report. Bowling Green has the lowest, at $24,673,957.

Of the Group of Five conference schools, Connecticut has the largest athletic revenue, at $79,308,421.

Texas has the largest athletic revenue in the country, at $219,402,579 for the 2018 fiscal year, with expenses amounting to $206,554,432.

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