Forbes magazine estimates Tennessee men’s basketball has increased in value from $12.7 million to $15.5 million over the last year, raising the program from the nation’s 18th-most valuable men’s program last season, to the 14th-most valuable in 2013.
In a ranking released this week, Forbes reported UT’s basketball profits have risen from $6.9 million to $8.8 million over the last year.
The program’s overall value is up 22 percent.
According to Forbes, “The team's surge in value is partially tied to academic contributions that totaled $6.4 million last year, but those payments will soon cease as Tennessee's athletic department attempts to stabilize its budget.”
Louisville remains college basketball’s most valuable men’s team, worth $38.5 million, up from $36.1 million last year.
Louisville is followed by Kansas (worth $32.9 million), North Carolina ($32.8 million) and Kentucky ($32.1 million) and Ohio State ($23.1 million).
UK is the only other SEC program appearing on Forbes’ top-20 list.
Much of Tennessee’s value is tied to attendance numbers at Thompson-Boling Arena, which remains among the nation’s best. According to UT, the Vols finished sixth in attendance this season, averaging 17,395 tickets sold over 16 games.
Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men’s basketball. Follow him at http://Twitter.com/BFQuinn