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Hansbrough's College Career More Profitable Than NBA Contract

Wednesday, 8 Apr 2009 | 2:21 PM ET
Tyler Hansbrough Jersey
Source: Amazon.com
Tyler Hansbrough Jersey

It's always hard to say how much a particular player makes for a college program. But economics professor Robert Brown is pretty confident that Tyler Hansbrough was responsible for at least $1 million a year in revenue to North Carolina.

That would mean that he made more for UNC over his four-year stint than he'll likely get for his first NBA contract, if current projections ring true.

"North Carolina has a great tradition, so it's not as if they would lose a lot of money if he didn't play there or even when he leaves," said Brown, an economics professor at Cal State-San Marcos. "But his being there definitely had some value."

About a decade ago, Brown's research concluded that college players who eventually went on to become NBA players generated, on average, $800,000 to $1 million per year for their programs. Brown said those numbers certainly have not gone down in recent years as the business of college sports has only grown.

Hansbrough, who sold more jerseys than any college player in 2008, Is currently projected on some mock drafts to be picked between No. 27 and No. 29.

If Hansbrough gets picked 27th, he's slotted to earn $3,256,200 for his first three years. If he falls to the 29th pick, he'll be guaranteed to earn $3,212,880 over three seasons.

Other college players who might have made more for their schools than what they made on their first NBA contracts include: Eric Chenowith (43rd pick, 2001), Carlos Boozer (34th pick, 2002), Keith Bogans (43rd pick, 2003) and Chris Duhon (38th pick, 2004).

Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com

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