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Houston experienced significant revenue drop during Major Applewhite’s tenure

Houston’s decision to move on from Major Applewhite and hire Dana Holgorsen could have been driven as much by financial results as on the field ones.

At least that appears to be the case after the Dallas Morning News examined the football program’s finances for the 2017-18 fiscal year and saw a sharp drop off in revenue and ticket sales after Applewhite took over for Tom Herman.

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.

A $2.3 million dip in miscellaneous operating revenue accounted for the low overall total. Reduced ticket sales also played a key role. The Cougars earned $3.7 million for the 2017 season, a drop of $1.9 million from Herman’s final year.

While figures were not available for the most recent season with the Cougars, the trend seems pretty clear for the program as they slid from going 22-5 under Herman to just 15-11 over two seasons with Applewhite. The shortcomings on the balance sheet were likely made up with more support from the university at large, which has had no qualms about spending at a Power Five level in order to enhance the program’s stature.