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Volume 24 No. 160


The Univ. of South Carolina’s Board of Trustees Monday approved an "athletic department budget that will top" $84M for the '13-14 academic year, according to Josh Kendall of the Columbia STATE. USC expects to bring in $84,103,300 while spending $83,692,900. The biggest single income source in the budget ($20.3M) comes from "admissions and ticket sales," with payouts from the NCAA and SEC ($19.2M) "coming in a close second." The athletic department also "informed the board that it expects its total debt load," which is nearly $122M this year, to jump to $133M next year "due mostly to the upcoming construction of an indoor practice facility and new outdoor practice facilities for the football team." The athletic department currently pays $8.3M annually to "service its debt load and that will rise" to more than $9M next year (Columbia STATE, 6/18). The BOT on Monday also approved a contract that will "allow IMG-Learfield to provide a professional sales force in hopes of increasing ticket sales in football and men's and women's basketball." IMG-Learfield, which "signed a one-year deal and will receive approximately 35 percent commission on all sales it makes, won't begin selling tickets until after the school's current ticket office sells through 30 days past its annual renewal date." The IMG-Learfield staff will "replace student workers currently doing the job" (, 6/17).

BACK IN BLACK? USA TODAY's Steve Berkowitz notes proposed changes in how the NCAA "compiles financial data from college athletics departments could lead to more of them being in the black, though not by increasing revenue or cutting expenses." Only 23 athletics departments are "self-sufficient by the NCAA's current benchmarks." Under one proposed change, student fees "might no longer be treated only as subsidy, but also as revenue generated by the athletics department." That could make it "easier for some athletics programs, especially those at schools in the power conferences, to be considered by the NCAA as self-sufficient." SEC consultant and former Mississippi State AD Larry Templeton said, "Instead of running around saying how many programs are in the red, this should put a considerable number running in the black. It would give a truer accounting of how most athletic programs work these days." NCAA VP/Administration and CFO Kathleen McNeely "unveiled the proposed changes in the financial reporting system last week during a presentation at the annual meeting of the College Athletic Business Management Association" (USA TODAY, 6/19).

The NCAA and lacrosse coaches are "trying to determine why attendance at the sport’s top event has declined for five straight years even as participation is setting records," according to Curtis Eichelberger of BLOOMBERG NEWS. The NCAA’s committee that oversees championships later this summer will "discuss the decline" of attendance for the D-I championship game from 48,970 in '08 to 28,224 last month. The Intercollegiate Men’s Lacrosse Coaches Association has "appointed a committee to research the issue and report its findings to the NCAA." NCAA Associate Dir of Championships & Alliances Anthony Holman: "We want to see if we can get back to some of the numbers we had in the past. But we don’t want to be too quick to react, thinking something is broken." Eichelberger noted attendance at the women’s D-I championship, which "draws about a third of the men’s, has risen for two years." Holman said that among the potential reasons for the decline that will be explored are "more television exposure, higher ticket prices and the tradition of holding the event Memorial Day weekend." He said, "Five to 10 years ago, if you wanted to see top level lacrosse you were going to come to our championship. But the things that used to be unique to our championship aren’t necessarily unique anymore" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 6/18).