Houston sees significant revenue drop-off following Tom Herman's departure for Texas, documents show

The university reported a drop of $5.7 million in football-related operating revenue following the 2017 season, according to an NCAA filing obtained through an open records request. That was the first season of Major Applewhite’s short-lived tenure.

The transition from Tom Herman to Applewhite, who was fired after the 2018 season, showed a significant financial drop-off. In 2016-17, Houston’s football program accounted for $12.1 million of its total operating revenue. The season after Herman left to become Texas’ coach, the Cougars made only $6.3 million.

I can’t believe someone wasted time writing about that stuff. It must have been a anti-Houston writer or pro-UT writer. Why did he not write about how well the basketball team is doing?


Ron, it’s the Dallas Morning News. That’s what they do.


We switched football coaches because (gasp) there is a connection between wins and revenue. This newspaper’s insights intrigue me and I want to subscribe.


Everyone knows wins and losses determines revenue. He didn’'t have to write an article about it but I guess he wanted to put something negative about UH in the spotlight.

1 Like

The main reason the revenue dropped was who we hired as a head coach, Applewhite was a disappointing hire for many reasons. The team being mediocre just confirmed some fans’ decision to stay away.


The hate Houston…wen so lived there I couldn’t find anything Houston related unless it was bad…when David Poland quit because of concussions, it was in Dallas Media. When Rockets, Texans, Coogs played, you never heard anything…plus, if the Cowboys are about to play…they will break into actions to show Cowboys…Houston make you finish watching the game until it is over before showing Texans, if another game is aired before Texans on same channel.

they don’t just dislike the cougars, its any team with Houston in it’s name.

Shocking that in Houston you find cowboy gear, trying doing the same in DFW.

The revnue drop was expected. We went from so some serious buzz, to the buzz generated by a funeral.


My thoughts:

  1. Did they include the Peach Bowl payout in the “2016-17” number attributed to Herman since it was paid in 2016? The game was played on NY Eve so I assume technically it should be in the 2015 numbers but I am not sure if this research is that in-depth.

  2. A decline in revenue from Herman’s last season to Applewhite’s first season cannot be all attributed to the coaching change which is what the writer is trying to communicate. 2016-17 season tickets were inflated because:
    a. Some tickets were bought by brokers for the 2016 season in hopes of making a profit after the Peach Bowl. Doubtful they would have been back in 2017 even if Herman returned given the disappointing finish.
    b. 2016 season had 6 home games plus the kick-off game with OU in nrg. Add the attraction of Jackson and Louisville on the slate and it was an ideal schedule with lots of hype. Normal ticket sales for the 2017 season naturally would have dropped off with the nrg game eliminated and then swap 2016 Louisville and Lamar with Rice and Texas Tech. Even if Herman was coming back, we might have seen a drop of some kind.

It’s too simplistic to look at the numbers on the surface and try to point to one reason (coaching change) as the driver. It doesn’t work that way. I am not going to say that Major did not contribute to the decline but you have to look at more factors.


I don’t have a problem with this article, even if their analysis falls short of being comprehensive. However, after reading the responses here, I am wondering why didn’t they compare UT football revenue from Brown, to Strong, to Herman.