Tennessee led the way, but UF wasn't far behind... Tennessee athletics is the king of the buyout Analysis of operating costs shows Tennessee athletics is the king of the buyout The UT athletic department’s $13.8 million in reported severance expenses were the most among all Division I athletic departments at public institutions during the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2018. Tennessee was the only institution that reported more than $13 million in severance payments. Nebraska, Florida, Arizona State and UCLA topped $12 million in reported severance costs. All of those schools, including Tennessee, fired their football coach in 2017, which helps explain the high severance figure. Tennessee operated at the biggest loss among SEC teams Because of the severance burden, Tennessee reported a $6.5 million operating loss for the 2018 fiscal year. The Vols operated at a $10.8 million surplus in the previous fiscal year. Mississippi and Missouri were the only other SEC teams to report an operating loss in 2018, but neither matched Tennessee’s amount. Texas A&M paced the conference in total revenue ($212.4 million) and in operating surplus ($46.6 million). Alabama was second in total revenue ($177.5 million), but Georgia ranked second in operating surplus ($42.8 million).