SBD/April 2, 2014/Colleges

Auburn Athletics Department Reports Deficit Of More Than $800K For FY '13

A 3-9 record for the Auburn football team in '12 contributed to lower revenue
Auburn's athletics department reported a deficit of $865,994 for FY '13, marking the first time the school has "listed a deficit" since '06, according a financial report cited by Jon Solomon of the BIRMINGHAM NEWS. Auburn reported a surplus of $8.8M in FY '12, the year before Gene Chizik's "disastrous final season as football coach." Severance payments totaled $2.7M in '13, "largely for Chizik and his staff after the Tigers went 3-9." Auburn Senior Associate AD/Communications Jack Smith said that the athletics department "drew upon a cash reserve" of more than $15M to cover last year's operating deficit. Auburn's latest NCAA report showed a $3.8M deficit in '13 after removing $4.3M in "subsidies from student fees" and a $1.4M "transfer from the athletics department to the university." Student fee subsidies also "prevented Auburn from reporting deficits on its NCAA reports" in '11, '10 and '09. Auburn would have had a $5.4M surplus in '12 "without student fees." The school since '06 has reported to the NCAA "a cumulative surplus" of $50.4M. That figure "does not factor out student fee subsidies." Auburn in '13 had $103.7M in total athletics revenue, down 2% "from a year earlier and its lowest" since '10. When "adjusting for inflation, Auburn's annual revenue has increased" by 35% since '06. Auburn's "annual athletic-related debt service increased" by about $1M in '13 to $10M. The "total athletic debt balance last year" was $108.8M, accounting for 15% of the university's overall debt. Last year's financial numbers "appear to have been heavily impacted by a historically bad season in football." Chizik was "fired after the season and replaced by Gus Malzahn" (AL.com, 3/29).
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