Forbes: The Most Valuable College Basketball Teams (Updated 4pm)

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Forbes has come out with a great piece that effectively ranks college basktball programs by “value” that is primarily derived from operating financials from last year. You need to realize that a major component of ‘value’ is the income stream that the ‘asset’ (the basketball program) can produce. That income stream is generated largely on the attendance and support of the fan base of the particular schools.

This link will take you to the article. We have summarized the rankings below for your convenience below.

It is very nice to NC State’s name standing alongside of the types of programs with whom we historically stood (until we effectively gave up competing in the early 1990s). With this said, a review of the actual PERFORMANCE of the basketball programs on this list produces some startling revelations that should make NC State fans feel amazingly proud.

  • An argument can easily be made that over the last fifteen years NC State is the WORST PERFORMING basketball program of the Top 20 most valuable programs on this list.
  • Additionally, there is no arguing that NC State has achieved the WORST ‘best/peak season’ of the teams on the list. For example – quickly eye-balling the list I see that only Xavier and Missouri have failed to make a Final Four in the last fifteen years and each of them have played in at least one Elite 8.
  • The purpose of those observations is not meant to degrade NC State’s Basketball program under the leadership of Les Robinson, Todd Turner, Herb Sendek and Lee Fowler. The purpose is meant to PRAISE the amazing support of the NC State fans that despite performance that is dwarfed by other programs. In light of the way the rest of the country’s fans behave, Wolfpack fans STILL support our program in a manner that creates Top 10-like value within our faltering program. This disproportionately strong support of the program is fascinating in light of the FANTASTIC conversations being had in the comments section of this entry that highlight our own Athletics Director’s continued criticism of his own fanbase.

    It is this kind of support that causes ACC Historians like Caulton Tudor to make comments like the following:

    N.C. State’s fans are among the most patient and loyal in all of college athletics. That hardly qualifies as breaking news, but it’s worth repeating…

    1. UNC-CH
    2. Kentucky
    3. Louisville
    4. Arizona
    5. Duke
    6. Indiana
    7. Illinois
    8. Kansas
    9. Wisconsin
    10. Ohio State
    11. Texas
    12. Missouri
    13. NC State
    14. UCLA
    15. Oklahoma State
    16. Michigan State
    17. Maryland
    18. Syracuse
    19. Arkansas
    20. Xavier

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    07-08 Basketball General Media NCS Basketball Rankings & Lists

    27 Responses to Forbes: The Most Valuable College Basketball Teams (Updated 4pm)

    1. GAWolf 01/03/2008 at 10:11 AM #

      “Last season the Tar Heels posted a $16.9 million profit and, thanks in part to a lucrative merchandising agreement with Nike (nyse: NKE – news – people ), contributed $800,000 to the university for academics. With Michael Jordan’s jersey hanging from the Dean Smith Center’s rafters and the basketball team a perennial contender for the national championship, basketball is the cornerstone of the university’s athletic department.”

      Any idea why the Dean Dome operates in the red every year? I know this profit must also pay, along with money generated by football, for almost the entirety of the school’s athletic department budget, but one would think they could foot the bill for the arena in which they play without help from the taxpayers.

      Or am I missing something?

    2. Rick 01/03/2008 at 10:24 AM #

      My guess would be they are not contractually obligated to make up the shortfall (why there is a shortfall is another question) so they do not.

    3. RAWFS 01/03/2008 at 10:42 AM #

      I bet the Smith Center question is answered fully by

      “Why use money from Leerfield Sports or Nike that can come from Tar Heel friendly legislators in downtown Raleigh?”

    4. bradleyb123 01/03/2008 at 11:00 AM #

      It’s too bad the Wolfpack can’t be ranked that high in basketball and football……

    5. wolfbuff 01/03/2008 at 11:17 AM #

      This issue of Dean Dome financing is a really interesting issue one that I would like the N&O to shed some light on. The RBC finances are certainly no secret.

    6. RickJ 01/03/2008 at 11:51 AM #

      “The Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau estimates total spending by visitors to Duke Blue Devils men’s home games last season topped $11.2 million–more than any other basketball program in the country.”

      Can someone smarter than me shed some light on this figure? They have less people coming to the games than a ton of schools. Is it because they all fly in from New Jersey and stay in an expensive hotel and eat every meal at Nana’s.

      Honestly, I’m a little surprised we aren’t in the Top 10 considering the number of life time rights season tickets we sell, money from luxury boxes and the naming rights revenue stream.

      This article may be 100% accurate but I would need to see exactly how the figures were calculated to be convinced.

    7. harrisek 01/03/2008 at 12:05 PM #

      “Any idea why the Dean Dome operates in the red every year?”

      Maybe there is an advantage to operating in the red, possibly a tax write off. No doubt they gain something from it’s money lossing situation.

    8. RAWFS 01/03/2008 at 12:33 PM #

      ^ As a government institution, the University of North Carolina doesn’t pay taxes.

      What they gain is the budget of the State of NC covering the operating expenses of their building, plain and simple. I’ve heard that UNC claims it is a “classroom” — and may indeed have classrooms inside the building somewhere.

    9. CarnifeX 01/03/2008 at 12:59 PM #

      being on this list will keep Fowler fat and happy on top of the athletic department.

    10. Trip 01/03/2008 at 2:25 PM #

      So, if you use reasoning… does this mean that NC State fans are silly to invest in a stock that isn’t performing? Man, no wonder Fowler likes it here, results aren’t necessary to be profitable !

      But on the flip side, it says that we’re a rabid LOYAL fan base that will ride the rough bumps with hopes of getting somewhere. I’d imagine that if we were as successful as Carolina that we’d be fighting with them for #1 with the amount of loyalty that we currently display in sub-par seasons. Props to NC state fans I say for putting up with this.

    11. wbnation 01/03/2008 at 2:53 PM #

      So basically NC State is the Chicagao Cubs of college basketball. Performance doesn’t matter to the bottom line, so why ever change. I think its a great thing to have a loyal die hard fan base, but unfortunetly it can be counter-productive on the wins issue. Now it may also scare the hell out of administrators and AD’s that the large fan base can at anytime turn on them. What NC State fans need to realize is that the only thing these people ever see is the $$$signs and until you begin to hit them in the pocket, NC State will continue to hold onto coaches much longer than they should (sendek case in point).

    12. Rick 01/03/2008 at 2:58 PM #

      This just proves we were not off the mark in expecting more from the sand dweller. We support at a championship level so it is fair to expect performance on that same level.

    13. DireWolfNY 01/03/2008 at 3:48 PM #

      While we’re on the subject of the dean dome, here’s some trivia… When the fundraising was on the build the dome, UNC-CH promised to name the arena after the donor who contributed the most. Well that turned out to be the Duke family. They quickly changed their policy on that. But just imagine… The Duke Dome. HA!

    14. RAWFS 01/03/2008 at 3:55 PM #

      Rick, I think you just qualified for the 50 Lunatics Club — an exclusive group of thousands of State fans who believe the same thing but are labelled as enemies of the state by the AD.

    15. Rick 01/03/2008 at 4:35 PM #

      Woo Hoo

    16. redfred2 01/03/2008 at 4:58 PM #

      Someone ^above says…”It’s too bad the Wolfpack can’t be ranked that high in basketball and football……

      Theres this, contained the Forbes artcle… “With expenses of only $3.1 million, the lowest of any team on our list, NC State…”

      Well, there ya go, it’s NC State at the head of class in investing the least in athletics, and still getting the mo$t from it’s loyal fans.

    17. old13 01/03/2008 at 5:02 PM #

      With the above as background, it is VERY apparent that having LF as NCSU AD is like having Donald Duck as the CEO of GE (or du Pont or GM or . . . )!

    18. redfred2 01/03/2008 at 5:04 PM #

      That stuff may make some fans proud, and rightfully so I guess, but it turns my stomach when I think about how much they have surrendered and given away over the past 17 or 18 years. Just so no one is confused, that statement has nothing at all to do with money.

    19. highstick 01/03/2008 at 8:56 PM #

      Generally high revenues & low expenses equals a high return on investment. Not so with Fowler “at the wheel”. He’s turned it into the low performance/low expectation discount store!

      Get us a real CEO in the athletic department!

    20. packgrad2000 01/03/2008 at 8:59 PM #

      I have very mixed emotions about this article. On one hand, this is great, we have great fan support, etc. On the other hand, it’s like Lee Fowler is sitting there thinking, “These suckers just keep giving and investing and we don’t have to do a thing in return.” I guess you could look at it as being “efficient” by spending the least of anyone in the Top 20, but this just confirms what we say over and over here at SFN: the fans of NC State are WAY more committed to its basketball (and football, for that matter) programs than the administration. So from the administration’s perspective, it’s a win-win: they get to make money even when they don’t invest in their product. Lee Fowler has the easiest job in the country too. No matter how much he doesn’t hold coaches accountable and doesn’t do his job, his programs are still in the black, and that’s all the administration really cares about (plus running a clean program with a good image).
      As a fan who helps contribute to this, I don’t know whether to pat myself on the back or kick myself in the rear.

    21. Primewolf 01/03/2008 at 9:05 PM #

      I too would like to see the data. Some of that is BS and how much the university claimed was being generated by the BB program. I doubt if FORBES saw any audited records.

      For example, our ADept does its best to understate income, etc. A few years ago there was an article that said that we were last in the ACC in terms of AD reveneus, like around $25m, below Wake Forest. When in fact, our AD didn’t say was that they didn’t include another $15M from supporters, so our AD revenue was in the 40M range.

      Why our ADept continues to understate our finances is baffling.

      I doubt if we gave FORBES a fair set of numbers. I am sure we didn’t give them an inflated or BB biased set of numbers, like those other schools have. Many schools would quickly jump on the gist of the pending FORBES article and perhaps say more of this amount of revenue really went to BB vs FB.

      Our ADept likely didn’t even think about making self serving judgments, like 90% of the other schools on that list obviously did.

      Until I really saw the numbers, how much they were validated, and assessed the many judgments, I would say it is an interesting list, but the numbers are probably +- a factor of 2.

      Does the full article have a detailed table and document the methodology they used.

      I suspect the Wolfpack would be in the top 10, if a fair assessment was made that didnot have undefendable judgments.

      Nice find SFN.

    22. bTHEredterror 01/03/2008 at 9:10 PM #

      Based on that info, let’s apply some pressure on good ol’ LF for the new turf coach asked for. I knew he was suspect, but that’s downright miserly.

    23. redfred2 01/03/2008 at 9:51 PM #

      You can’t solicit funding or “entertain” on plain old turf. They might put in a new brick courtyard/field, but grass, no way.

    24. redfred2 01/03/2008 at 9:58 PM #

      “I have very mixed emotions about this article. On one hand, this is great, we have great fan support, etc. On the other hand, it’s like _________________(insert any name here, EXAMPLES: AD, Chancellor, former coaches) is sitting there thinking, “These suckers just keep giving and investing and we don’t have to do a thing in return.””

    25. redfred2 01/03/2008 at 10:04 PM #

      ^That should have read…EXAMPLES: Past and present AD’s, past and present Chancellors, and former coaches)…

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