SBD/June 13, 2013/Colleges

Univ. Of Kentucky Raises Athletics Budget To Record High After Hiring New Football Staff

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Kentucky's football expenses are up more than 32% for '13-14 school year
The Univ. of Kentucky on Tuesday approved a $104.4M athletics budget for '13-14, representing an increase of 13.6% "from the just-concluded school year," according to Kyle Tucker of the Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL. The UK Athletics Committee approved a $12.5M budget increase from its '12-13 budget of $91.9M, which "the department actually exceeded" by $4.2M "due largely to capital projects such as new track, softball and soccer complexes." The "projected football expenses" in the new budget are up 32.6%, from about $9.5M to $12.6M. Roughly $2.4M of the $3.1M increase is to "cover the higher salaries" of recently hired football coach Mark Stoops and his staff (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 6/12). UK AD Mitch Barnhart said the timing of the budget increase was to "get the coaching staff we wanted." In Lexington, Jerry Tipton noted UK "expects the Stoops hire to pay off next season in ticket sales." The athletic department budgeted an additional $2M "in expected ticket sales." UK football next year will "nearly match the commitment" the school makes to "its signature sport: men's basketball," which is $12.9M for '13-14. Barnhart said even with "a record $104,414,800 budget" for '13-14, the school remained in the "middle of the pack" among SEC counterparts. UK in its '13-14 budget also expects a record $4M in revenue "from licensing deals on memorabilia." The athletic department "splits licensing revenue 50-50 with the school." UK also projects to pay an "additional $450,000 in guarantees to opponents in so-called guarantee games," and an "increase of $1,175,000 in revenue from men's basketball ticket sales" (LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER, 6/12).

SWAMP PEOPLE: In Gainesville, Jeff Schweers reports the Univ. of Florida Athletic Association BOD yesterday approved a $100.5M budget for '13-14, an increase of 3.83% over "the current approved budget." The additional $3.6M in expenditures includes a $2.6M increase in salaries, "a figure that includes guaranteed raises in several coaches’ contracts" and a 3.5% "across-the-board increase for all 325 association employees." UF AD Jeremy Foley said that the budget "reflects the fact that only six games will be played this football season at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium instead of the usual seven." The budget summary also forecasts a $1.9M "increase in ticket-related booster contributions" and a $1.1M "net increase in football game revenue because of a reduction in game guarantees to opposing teams because one fewer home game is scheduled" (GAINESVILLE SUN, 6/13). In Tampa, Antonya English noted a $50M renovation to UF's O'Connell Center is among the school's "upcoming major projects." The renovation will be funded by $40M "in private donations" and $10M from the school, as "the building belongs to UF" (TAMPABAY.com, 6/12). 
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