The 25 schools that make the most money in college sports

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Phil Knight is believed to have donated more than $300 million to the University of Oregon.
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Chris Pietsch/AP

It is no secret that big-time college sports is a big-money business, and last year no school made more money from its athletics program than the Nike-driven University of Oregon.

In the most recent fiscal year, the University of Oregon athletics department generated $196.0 million in revenue, according to data collected from USA Today.

Oregon knocks the University of Texas from the top spot, thanks in large part to more than $120 million in donations to the program from people like Nike CEO and founder Phil Knight, who has donated more than $300 million to the school.

In all, there are now 20 schools that make at least $100 million in sports, up from 13 a year ago.

Here are the 25 biggest moneymakers in college sports and where most of the money comes from, including data from the Department of Education on football and men’s basketball revenue, the two sports that typically generate the most money.


1. University of Oregon — $196.0 million

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Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Donations: $124.9 million

Licensing/Rights fees: $35.6 million

Ticket sales: $26.6 million

3-year avg. football revenue: $54.0 million

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $8.7 million


2. University of Texas — $161.0 million

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Erich Schlegel/Getty Images

Donations: $37.6 million

Licensing/Rights fees: $60.7 million

Ticket sales: $53.7 million

3-year avg. football revenue: $108.6 million

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $16.8 million


3. University of Michigan — $157.9 million

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Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Donations: $35.3 million

Licensing/Rights fees: $55.6 million

Ticket sales: $53.3 million

3-year avg. football revenue: $86.0 million

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $12.8 million


4. University of Alabama — $153.2 million

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Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Donations: $32.2 million

Licensing/Rights fees: $52.5 million

Ticket sales: $37.2 million

3-year avg. football revenue: $88.5 million

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $12.9 million


5. Ohio State University — $145.2 million

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Urban Meyer lifts his third championship trophy.
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Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Donations: $28.2 million

Licensing/Rights fees: $49.9 million

Ticket sales: $56.0 million

3-year avg. football revenue: $61.7 million

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $19.7 million


6. Louisiana State University — $133.7 million

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AP/Kerry Maloney

Donations: $49.3 million

Licensing/Rights fees: $40.0 million

Ticket sales: $37.7 million

3-year avg. football revenue: $77.0 million

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $8.4 million


7. University of Oklahoma — $129.2 million

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Getty Images

Donations: $33.4 million

Licensing/Rights fees: $46.6 million

Ticket sales: $36.9 million

3-year avg. football revenue: $66.9 million

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $8.8 million


8. University of Wisconsin — $127.9 million

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Getty Images

Donations: $38.5 million

Licensing/Rights fees: $49.4 million

Ticket sales: $27.6 million

3-year avg. football revenue: $48.8 million

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $18.6 million


9. University of Florida — $124.6 million

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Will Grier/Getty Images

Donations: $43.0 million

Licensing/Rights fees: $39.4 million

Ticket sales: $23.0 million

3-year avg. football revenue: $72.7 million

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $11.4 million


10. Texas A&M University — $119.5 million

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Getty Images

Donations: $36.3 million

Licensing/Rights fees: $37.5 million

Ticket sales: $36.7 million

3-year avg. football revenue: $52.0 million

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $8.0 million


11. Oklahoma State University — $117.8 million

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Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Donations: $37.0 million

Licensing/Rights fees: $31.9 million

Ticket sales: $23.8 million

3-year avg. football revenue: $42.9 million

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $12.6 million


12. Penn State University — $117.6 million

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Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Donations: $24.2 million

Licensing/Rights fees: $37.5 million

Ticket sales: $38.0 million

3-year avg. football revenue: $64.3 million

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $10.2 million


13. Auburn University — $113.7 million

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Daniel Shirey/Getty Images

Donations: $39.4 million

Licensing/Rights fees: $37.2 million

Ticket sales: $29.8 million

3-year avg. football revenue: $67.3 million

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $9.7 million


14. University of Tennessee — $107.5 million

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Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Donations: $26.8 million

Licensing/Rights fees: $41.4 million

Ticket sales: $32.6 million

3-year avg. football revenue: $59.5 million

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $15.1 million


15. University of Minnesota — $106.2 million

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Getty Images

Donations: $10.3 million

Licensing/Rights fees: $41.1 million

Ticket sales: $28.5 million

3-year avg. football revenue: $36.3 million

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $14.5 million


16. University of Iowa — $106.0 million

Donations: $30.4 million

Licensing/Rights fees: $41.1 million

Ticket sales: $25.9 million

3-year avg. football revenue: $53.2 million

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $9.8 million


17. Florida State University — $104.8 million

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Getty Images

Donations: $22.5 million

Licensing/Rights fees: $40.5 million

Ticket sales: $25.6 million

3-year avg. football revenue: $45.0 million

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $9.2 million


18. Michigan State University — $104.7 million

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Getty Images

Donations: $29.7 million

Licensing/Rights fees: $41.7 million

Ticket sales: $24.1 million

3-year avg. football revenue: $50.1 million

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $18.7 million


19. University of Georgia — $103.5 million

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AP/Rob Carr

Donations: $31.9 million

Licensing/Rights fees: $38.1 million

Ticket sales: $22.5 million

3-year avg. football revenue: $76.6 million

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $8.3 million


20. University of Washington — $100.3 million

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Getty Images

Donations: $24.0 million

Licensing/Rights fees: $39.7 million

Ticket sales: $28.5 million

3-year avg. football revenue: $59.1 million

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $10.2 million


21. University of Arizona — $99.9 million

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Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Donations: $44.3 million

Licensing/Rights fees: $29.9 million

Ticket sales: $14.9 million

3-year avg. football revenue: $27.4 million

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $24.3 million


22. University of South Carolina — $98.6 million

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Getty Images

Donations: $30.2 million

Licensing/Rights fees: $31.6 million

Ticket sales: $21.3 million

3-year avg. football revenue: $51.0 million

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $7.9 million


23. University of Kansas — $97.7 million

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Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Donations: $29.0 million

Licensing/Rights fees: $36.4 million

Ticket sales: $20.1 million

3-year avg. football revenue: $19.8 million

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $17.0 million


24. University of Arkansas — $96.8 million

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Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Donations: $21.3 million

Licensing/Rights fees: $35.7 million

Ticket sales: $34.3 million

3-year avg. football revenue: $60.9 million

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $16.0 million


25. University of Kentucky — $96.7 million

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Getty Images

Donations: $19.1 million

Licensing/Rights fees: $40.1 million

Ticket sales: $32.8 million

3-year avg. football revenue: $32.5 million

3-year avg. men’s basketball revenue: $22.8 million


Now check out the NFL players who make the most money.

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Jim Rogash/Getty Images

The 29 highest-paid players in the NFL >>