Tag Archives: University of Alabama

University-of-Alabama

Why Women’s College Basketball Operates At A Deficit

University-of-AlabamaAlabama Women’s Basketball has announced a new booster club: the Crimson Tide Center Court. A quick look at Alabama women’s basketball’s financials seemingly underscores the need for such a booster club. For fiscal year 2012, the program reported no donations. Ticket sales, conference distributions, licensing, sports camps and other revenues totaled $493,743 for the program, but that wasn’t even enough to cover the $529,072 the athletic department had to send to the university to cover the tuition, room and board of the women’s basketball student athletes, forget paying coaching salaries, travel, equipment, game day and other expenses. At the end of the day, Alabama women’s basketball operated at a deficit of $2.4 million.

Alabama’s situation is not unlike most women’s basketball programs in the country. Although Alabama’s basketball program went 13-18 last season, even the most successful teams on the court struggle with donor support. UConn women’s basketball reported $389,033 in contributions on its financial disclosures. Although higher than UConn men’s basketball ($218,324), it paled in comparison to football’s $2.7 million in donations. Like Alabama, women’s basketball at UConn finished the year at a deficit: $1.3 million.

Louisville, who’s women’s basketball program played for the title against UConn last season, reported women’s basketball donations at $193,074. Nowhere close to the $20.4 million the men’s basketball program brought in – although, it should be noted that no basketball program in the country, men’s or women’s, comes close to Louisville men’s basketball in that department. Louisville women’s basketball joined Alabama and UConn in finishing the year at a financial deficit of $2.3 million.

Football and men’s basketball donations are bolstered by donations required for the right to purchase season tickets, which can be a lofty sum when tickets are in demand. In fact, as I detail in my book Saturday Millionaires, donations to the top football and basketball programs can sometimes be twice as much as television revenue, mistakenly believed by many to be the largest source of revenue for athletic departments.

Women’s basketball, along with every other sport a school sponsors, simply doesn’t have that revenue source. As you can see below, donations to women’s basketball in the SEC are either non-existent or extremely low compared to donations to men’s basketball and football.

University Contributions to Women’s Basketball Contributions to Men’s Basketball Contributions to Football
Alabama $0 $645,136 $18,679,937
Arkansas $0 $3,660,681 $17,370,567
Auburn $237,692 $2,046,352 $27,051,405
Florida $0 $1,791,862 $35,871,054
Georgia $26,386 $721,265 $26,944,091
Kentucky $0 $0 $0 *
Louisiana State $168,856 $2,815,161 $22,376,287
Mississippi $153,821 $1,144,588 $3,105,908
Mississippi State $6,010 $30,175 $0 **
Missouri $31,848 $885,080 $1,293,282
South Carolina $0 $184,544 $9,746,213
Tennessee $2,070,124 $1,235,289 $12,499,404
Texas A&M $39,127 $1,284,743 $8,303,578
Vanderbilt ***

Source: NCAA financial disclosures filed by each university

* Kentucky does not break down contributions by sport on its report

** I’ve asked Mississippi State about this in the past, and they don’t move money over from their booster club for football unless they need the additional revenue

*** Vanderbilt is not subject to open records requests because it is a private university

A couple of caveats on the chart above. First, the amount shown for football donations isn’t necessarily all of the money donated for football in a year, it’s simply the amount the athletic department accepted for the year. Let me explain. Most athletic departments receive donations through a fund-raising entity. If a donation was earmarked for football, but taking in that revenue and spending it on the football program would throw financials out of whack for Title IX purposes, the fund-raising entity will put that money aside for the future.

Here’s an explanation straight from my book, Saturday Millionaires:

The Office of Civil Rights has previously offered this interpretation with regards to boosters or other donors who donate funds for specified sports: “a school cannot use earmarked funds as an economic justification for discrimination.”

In other words, the school can honor the sport-specific designation for such donated funds, but it still must comply with the proportionality requirement. It cannot dedicate those funds to football, throwing the proportionality out of whack, and then say they had to do so because the funds were earmarked. The excess funds that cannot be applied simply have to be put aside for the future, or they can be applied and revenue from other sources can be moved out of football in order to maintain compliance.

Bottom line: just because it looks like your school is receiving the most donations for football from the chart above doesn’t mean it’s true.

As you can clearly see, however, women’s basketball is a long way from raking in the kind of money men’s basketball and football can generate from donations. Will booster clubs geared specifically toward women’s basketball, like the Crimson Tide Center Court club change that? It’s unlikely, but they can certainly help generate some excitement for the program and bring fans together with the team. In the end, I would imagine that’s Alabama’s goal, especially given that Alabama women’s basketball is getting a new coach this year. A coach who will make a reported $400,000 a year – 81% of the program’s total revenue.

If you have more interest in the Crimson Tide Center Court, here are some additional details… Continue reading

How Much Did the BCS Top 25 Spend on Recruiting?

As I continue to write about the financial aspect of college athletics, I find myself wondering about things like how much money plays a role in winning. Is there one place where you can spend more money and increase your odds of competing for a championship? Or is the Athletic Director more of a conductor choosing which instruments to highlight and when in order to produce the best sounding symphony?

I thought it would be interesting to see how much spending on recruiting plays a role in football success. The numbers reflect recruiting expenses for the 2009-2010 school year.

One thing to note is that recruiting dollars are not broken down by sport, so the numbers you see below reflect the total amount spent on recruiting for all male athletes. Since football has the largest recruiting class and we can safely presume most schools spend the majority of their recruiting dollars on football, I think the numbers still paint an interesting picture.

Below you will see recruiting dollars spent during the 2009-2010 school year for each school in the 2010 BCS final standings, when presumably the athletes recruited with 2009-2010 dollars were then members of the team:

  School Recruiting Expenses % of Total Expenses
1 Auburn $1,129,984.00 1.24%
2 Oregon $844,235.00 1.29%
3 TCU $438,422.00 0.84%
4 Stanford $754,689.00 0.92%
5 Wisconsin $473,897.00 0.53%
6 Ohio State $676,966.00 0.65%
7 Oklahoma $1,010,570.00 1.14%
8 Arkansas $1,187,216.00 1.65%
9 Michigan State $677,958.00 1.10%
10 Boise State $158,355.00 0.63%
11 LSU $741,762.00 0.73%
12 Missouri $596,738.00 1.12%
13 Virginia Tech $625,207.00 1.24%
14 Oklahoma State $414,655.00 0.69%
15 Nevada $216,920.00 1.00%
16 Alabama $1,257,128.00 1.47%
17 Texas A&M $532,641.00 0.77%
18 Nebraksa $685,361.00 1.00%
19 Utah $466,532.00 1.46%
20 South Carolina $565,967.00 0.72%
21 Mississippi State $416,333.00 1.15%
22 West Virginia  $669,844.00 1.18%
23 Florida State $581,923.00 0.77%
24 Hawaii $272,078.00 0.93%
25 UCF $354,264.00 0.99%
       
  Averages $629,985.80 1.01%

Boise State is spending the paltry sum of $158,355, which is just 25% of the average. Only 26 of the 115 on the Broncos 2010 roster hailed from Idaho, with a huge percentage coming from as far away as California and Texas. Impressive that Boise State recruits so well on such a limited budget.

As an interesting side note, Boise State spends nearly as much on female recruiting as male, with female recruiting costs coming in at $123,287. That’s 44% of the total recruiting expenditures. Compare that to the leader for male recruiting expenses on this chart, Alabama, who only spends 26% of their recruiting expenditures on female recruiting. To complete the data needed for comparison, Alabama has 10 women’s teams and Boise State has 9 (with all track-related sports combined into one in each total).

The other thing that stood out to me was that Utah spent above average in terms of the percent of their total expenses advanced towards recruiting. In fact, they rank fourth overall in terms of percentage of total expenses spent on male recruiting. I was also surprised to see Ohio State and Michigan State from the Big Ten spending so much less than Alabama, Arkansas and Auburn from the SEC. The latter three make up the top three spenders overall on the list. Did this help them in their quest to move from a non-AQ conference to an AQ conference?

What surprised you from this list? If your school is on this list, how do you feel about what’s being spent on recruiting?

Which SEC Alumni Have the Deepest Pockets?

I’ve shown you which SEC schools are making the most from football, but which athletic departments are making the most from donor contributions?

  School Contributions % of Total Revenue
1 University of Florida $39,350,660.00 34%
2 Louisiana State University $38,255,521.00 34%
3 University of Alabama $33,739,056.00 26%
4 Auburn University $29,731,122.00 32%
5 University of Tennessee $27,936,952.00 24%
6 University of Georgia $27,354,228.00 30%
7 University of South Carolina $23,987,283.00 30%
8 University of Kentucky $13,161,669.00 17%
9 University of Arkansas $13,124,754.00 17%
10 University of Mississippi $5,375,438.00 12%
11 Mississippi State University $0.00 0%

Note that Vanderbilt’s numbers are not available because it is a private institution and not subject to open records requests.

I’m guessing one of the first things you noticed was Mississippi State not showing any contributions for the 2009-2010 school year. I spoke with Steve Corhern, the Assistant AD for Business Operations at Mississippi State University, and asked why they had shown contributions in past years but not in 2009-2010. Turns out it’s good news: Continue reading

UGA

Who’s Making Money in SEC Football?

Is your team turning a profit in its athletic department? Is it spending in line with its revenue? Could this have any effect on performance on the field? Thanks to a federal statute requiring all colleges and universities that receive Title IV funding (federal student aid) to report the financials for their athletic department, I have the answers for you. (See the Note at the end for more information on this data.)

First, let’s take a look at how the schools rank in terms of revenue for just the football program. For added comparison, I have put each school’s stadium capacity next to their name, since that would have a direct effect on their ability to bring in revenue:

    Stadium Capacity Football Revenue
1 Univ. of Alabama 101,821 $71,884,525.00
2 Univ. of Georgia 92,746 $70,838,539.00
3 Louisiana State Univ. 92,400 $68,819,806.00
4 Univ. of Florida 88,548 $68,715,750.00
5 Auburn Univ. 87,451 $66,162,720.00
6 Univ. of South Carolina 80,250 $58,266,159.00
7 Univ. of Tennessee 102,037 $56,593,946.00
8 Univ. of Arkansas 76,000 $48,524,244.00
9 Univ. of Kentucky 67,606 $31,890,572.00
10 Univ. of Mississippi 60,580 $28,409,774.00
11 Mississippi State Univ. 55,082 $14,551,275.00
12 Vanderbilt Univ. 41,448 $14,152,061.00

I’m sure it comes as no surprise to see perennial contenders like LSU, Florida and Alabama at the top. 

Now let’s take a look at who the big spenders are: Continue reading