SBD/May 2, 2013/Colleges

Michigan AD Dave Brandon Meets With Faculty In Attempt To Clarify Athletics Financials

Brandon said his department annually gives $2M to UM's general fund for scholarships
Univ. of Michigan AD Dave Brandon on Monday met with faculty and "debunked what he considers 'the greatest myths' about the department," including the assumption athletics "takes some money from the general fund or other university arms," according to Kellie Woodhouse of ANNARBOR.com. Brandon said that the athletic department gives $2M to UM's general fund "annually toward scholarships." He added the department gets "no support from the general fund." While the department averages a $5-10M annual surplus, Brandon said it is actually "an enterprise that struggles to pay for itself" due to a $240M debt load and costly construction projects. Brandon: "It's not a business model that you'd ever invest in." Brandon also "responded to concerns that the department is bogged down in debt" because of the $227M renovation of Michigan Stadium in '10. He acknowledged the renovation is a major part of the athletic department's long-term debt, but said that it is "critical to the school's current revenue model." Woodhouse noted the MU athletic department makes $14M a year after annual debt service, "thanks to the 81 luxury boxes and club seating added in the renovation" (ANNARBOR.com, 5/1).
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