Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Athletic Budget Update #60

Lots of movement on the college athletics financial front in the last few weeks.  Here's an update on the recent news and information.

Oregon's faculty senate has passed a resolution to have the athletic department pay a 3% dividend to the academic operations of the University.

LSU has decided to delay the construction of the Tiger Athletic Nutrition Center due to anticipated state budget cuts and a climate of "austerity."

UNC Pembroke announced that it is dropping men's golf and tennis.  The Braves are also adding indoor track and field for men and women as well as women's swimming.  Expected savings from dropping the two sports is $75,000.

A consultant hired by Kent State has indicated that the department has facilities that are "tired and outdated" and that they need to increase private financial support.

Florida State is going to fund $2 million of increased athletic aid costs for cost of attendance stipends by reducing budget expenditures by 2% in other areas of the department.

SIU Carbondale is facing a $32 million state budget cut that could impact its athletic program and possibly result in the loss of teams.

Interesting graphic outlines the cost of attendance challenges for Ball State.

South Carolina State plans to cut eleven academic and athletic staff positions to save more than $380,000 and another $466,000 in athletic operations and summer financial aid to address a difficult budget climate.  There is also a proposed plan that would involve dropping a number of sports including men's basketball.

Montana State Billings dropped their men's and women's tennis teams.

Diverse Issues in Higher Education describes the future of non-revenue sports as "limbo" with an increasing number of expenses facing higher education and college athletics.

Pac-12 Deputy Commissioner Zaninovich with some thought provoking ideas about how to improve college basketball.

Also, in a final unrelated topic, a copy of my final interview with the PJ Star can be found here.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Ultimate Sports Insider News

To my loyal followers on I wanted to share with you news about my upcoming departure from Bradley University.  

Here is the official announcement

Although not contained in the official release, I also want to share the following brief list of accomplishments during my tenure.  

  • The introduction of a mission for academic and championship success, partnered with department-wide core values: accountability, courage, diligence, integrity and respect.
  • Semester after semester of record setting student athlete grade point averages, including a 3.32 GPA during the Fall 2014 semester.  
  • Annual improvements in Bradley’s performance in the all-sports standings of the Missouri Valley Conference, including Bradley’s best ever finish in the history of the conference at the conclusion of the 2013-14 competitive year.  
  • The opening and dedication of the $55 million Renaissance Coliseum.
  • The implementation of the department’s first-ever all sports apparel agreement with adidas
  • The introduction of iconic branding and a new mascot to fill a decades-long void that has produced a nearly 50% increase in licensing royalties.
  • Record setting corporate sales in excess of $1 million following the signing of a multimedia rights agreement.  

Thank you for your readership and support in this time of transition. UltimateSportsInsider will still continue to publish with the goal of serving as a valuable resource regarding intercollegiate athletic matters.  

Friday, January 16, 2015

Athletic budget update #59

Exceptional Chronicle of Higher Education reporter Brad Wolverton with an in-depth examination about the possibility of cutbacks in college sports.  Ultimate Sports Insider was quoted along with Kansas State University President Kirk H. Schulz, American Volleyball Coaches Association Executive Director Kathleen DeBoer, Iowa State Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard, and Big South Conference Commissioner Kyle Kallander.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Athletic Budget Update #58

Texas lost $2.8 million in 2013-14 despite $161 million in revenue.

FAU is still seeking a return on its $70 million football investment amid low attendance and on-field performance that hasn't met expectations.

Minnesota Duluth is releasing its five time national champion head coach Shannon Miller because it can no longer afford to pay her.  In the University's press release  Athletic Director Josh Berlo said "She established a winning program, raised it to the highest level of competition and sustained a national championship tradition over the last 15 years.  Today's decision about Shannon's contract was an immensely difficult and financially driven decision.  Unfortunately, UMD Athletics is not in a position to sustain the current salary levels of our women's hockey coaching staff."

Hawaii's on-going financial troubles have the institution seeking additional state support.

Interesting read about how schools in South Dakota intend to address pending rule changes coming out of the 2015 NCAA Convention.

Nevada pursuing a micro-financing campaign to raise $4 million for a scoreboard, sound system and other improvements to their football stadium.

A Virginia legislator is looking to reduce the fees students pay for athletics, which could impact public colleges and universities across the state.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Athletic Budget Update #57

Questions about how to fund athletic programs in the face of NCAA legislative changes such as cost of attendance stipends and possible legal mandates continue to grow.  As a result, there are a number of notable budgetary news items on the college athletics front, including:
The elimination of teams since NCAA governance model changes brought about "autonomy" for the Power 5 conferences is a growing focus for many athletic administrators. will be maintaining a running summary of the lost opportunities for student athletes.  Those losses to date include - 
  1. UAB drops football, bowling and rifle - Dec 3, 2014 
  2. UNC Wilmington drops four track and cross country teams - December 8, 2014.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Athletic Budget Update #56

In 2009 a primary area for my writing was athletic budget cuts, driven in large part by the significant economic downturn that occurred in 2008.  As the economy improved and television money and conference realignment took hold, these issues became less prominent and seemed to disappear.

Unfortunately they may be returning and are at the forefront of the minds of many athletic administrators.  These concerns are driven largely by changes in the NCAA governance structure that have institutions anticipating millions of dollars in previously impermissible new expenses being planned by schools in the "Power 5".  Virtually unlimited meals, cost of attendance stipends, multiple year scholarships and a host of other expenses are poised to become "permissible" in early 2015. Further, a deregulated rules compliance landscape is providing institutions more latitude in their decision making than ever and in many cases light penalties are expected in areas with student athlete welfare implications.

A huge wake up call on the economic front is the decision by the University of Alabama Birmingham to drop three sports - football, bowling and rifle.  Obviously football is the most stunning sport to be dropped and is the first major college football program to be dropped since Pacific did so in 1995.  Further, UAB must spend millions to drop the program due to penalties they will owe to a number of institutions for failure to fulfill contracts for future contests.

As additional budget information emerges across the country, you an anticipate will share the news and commentary.  If you are interested in a reminder of what the landscape was like five years ago, here are my 55 previous posts.