- Chris Low, ESPN Senior Staff Writer
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Here's a big surprise: The SEC has a bunch of schools that spend big money on their football programs.
In fact, six of the 10 biggest spenders in college football for the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2010, were SEC teams.
Ohio State spends the most money nationally on its football program -- $31,763,036. But Alabama was right behind the Buckeyes, spending $31,118,234.
The other SEC teams in the top 10 were Auburn at No. 4 ($27,911,713), LSU at No. 5 ($25,566,520), Florida at No. 6 ($24,457,557), South Carolina at No. 7 ($22,794,211) and Arkansas at No. 9 ($22,005,014).
These statistics come from the Department of Education, which has required universities to submit the amount they spend on sports since 2000 as part of the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act.
Most of the SEC athletic departments making huge profits in their football programs are also donating generously to the university.
At Florida, football spent $24.4 million and brought in $68.7 million for a net profit of $44.2 million. The program will give $6 million to the university in the 2010-11 fiscal year to bring the total to $61.1 million since 1990.
"At this place, your main revenue source is football, so you're going to spend money necessary to sustain a successful football program," Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley said. "If we go from playing in front of 90,000 people to playing in front of 60,000 people, you're talking about cutting sports, scholarships, personnel, and nobody wants to see that happen."
Here's the entire list of the top 10 spenders in college football:
1. Ohio State, $31,763,036
2. Alabama, $31,118,134
3. Notre Dame, $29,490,788
4. Auburn, $27,911,713
5. LSU, $25,566,520
6. Florida, $24,457,557
7. South Carolina, $22,794,211
8. Wisconsin, $22,041,491
9. Arkansas $22,005,014
10. TCU $20,609,361