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Volume 27 No. 35
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Univ. Of Texas Athletics Lost Money In '13-14 For First Time Since '99-'00

The Univ. of Texas athletic department suffered a $2.8M shortfall during the '13-14 academic year, the "first time the department has lost money since" '99-'00, according to financial statements cited by Brian Davis of the AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN. A document shows that the department had approximately $161M in revenue and $163.8M in expenses, which are both "still tops in the nation." Records show that the athletic department had a $9.7M surplus during the '12-13 school year. But an 11.8% drop in overall ticket sales "due to fewer concerts at the Erwin Center along with the cost of changing football coaches apparently eroded Texas’ financial cushion." UT men's AD Steve Patterson on Saturday said, "We’re still healthy. I’m encouraged with the ticket sales in both (men’s and women’s) basketball programs and volleyball. I think all things considered, we sold well." Davis noted the drop in ticket revenue "was the most eye-opening, a precipitous fall" from $60.8M to about $53.6M. UT also "incurred a one-time charge" of $4.375M to buy out football coach Charlie Strong’s contract at Louisville. Patterson said that this money "came straight from reserves and not the operating budget ... dropping the overall reserve total" to about $35M currently. Donations "remained the same" at about $37M, a "stagnant level that worries some within the Longhorn Foundation." It is believed that UT's athletic department "is one of the few in the nation that transfers money back to the university" (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 1/11).

CATS' KITTY: In Spokane, Jacob Thorpe reported Washington State Univ.’s athletic department had a $13M deficit at the end of last year due to "uncommon expenditures on coaching salaries, buyouts and debt service." WSU’s revenue rose from $45.7M in '13 to about $47.3M in '14. However, spending on WSU sports "soared" to $59.7M last year -- $10M more than in '13. The gap "is due to richer salaries, bonuses," and the $1.8M buyout of former basketball coach Ken Bone’s contract. The department also added $1M to the budget "for football coaches, and paid contract bonuses to the coaches after WSU made its first bowl game in a decade." WSU also is "making payments on bonds that were issued to pay for recent construction projects." WSU AD Bill Moos expects that the department will "be solvent" by '19. Moos said that WSU "will not take on any additional debt for future athletic department construction projects" (Spokane SPOKESMAN-REVIEW, 1/11).

CRYING WOLF: In Albuquerque, Rick Wright reported football "continued to be a drain" on the Univ. of New Mexico’s athletic budget in '14, though the Mountain West Conference’s TV package "softened the blow." UNM AD Paul Krebs in an e-mail wrote that football produced revenues of about $1.6M last fall, "about $400,000 short of projections." However, Krebs wrote, "We did receive several bonuses from football TV appearances/kick times. Combined with increased revenue for the [MWC from the CFP] structure and our league ranking among the group of 5 (conferences), we should meet our total revenue expectations for the football program" (ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL, 1/10).