Saturday, March 30, 2013

FGCU's NCAA Run Means Money...But Budget Still Balanced on Back of Students

As I've written about USF in recent years, it takes a lot of money to compete in big-time college athletics.  And unless you're a team like the Florida Gators, you're paying a lot of your bills with student fees. 

See, while football and men's basketball often turns modest profits at D-I schools, every other varsity program typically loses money.  It's simply the cost of doing business.

And schools like FGCU, which have neither football nor a rich history of alumni contributing booster bucks, the student fees make up an astonishing portion of the athletics budget.  Sure, the school has been killing it in the school bookstore.  And the Eagles can expect a bigger check from the NCAA.  And recruiting is about to get a lot easier

But check out these budget numbers from last year's annual NCAA filing:

MAJOR REVENUES ($11M total last year)
  • $5.16M from student fees - 47% of the school's athletic budget comes directly from student subsidies, or $567 per student.
  • $2.45M from direct institutional support - that's another $270 per student coming from general revenue
  • $778,000 from royalties/licensing (merchandise)
  • $571,000 from contributions (boosters)
  • $379,000 from ticket sales
  • $160,000 from endowment funds
  • $137,000 from NCAA distributions
  • $22,000 from program sales & concessions
MAJOR EXPENSES ($10.5M total last year)
  • $2.13M for coaching salaries
  • $1.85M for faculty/administrative salaries
  • $1.12M for team travel
  • $808,000 for facilities, support, & maintenance
  • $619,000 for equipment
  • $192,000 for recruiting
These are just the prices of doing business in big-time college athletics, especially for a young school.  And most FGCU students will probably tell you the last two weekends have been worth $837 in student loans.

But it's astonishing to put FGCU's 2012 revenue numbers alongside those of their more established (football-playing) Sunshine State counterparts:

UF - $2.4M (2% of budget; $80/student/yr)
FSU - $7.8M (8% of budget; $244/student/yr)
USF - $15.5M (36% of budget; $444/student/yr)
FGCU - $5.2M (47% of budget; $567/student/yr)

UF - $8.9M
FSU - $18.2M
USF - $5.2M
FGCU - $778,000

UF - $46.1M
FSU - $31.0M
USF - $3.1M
FGCU - $571,000

UF - $23.6M
FSU - $20.4M
USF - $6.0M
FGCU - $379,000

UF - $22.2M
FSU - $16.9M
USF - $9.6M
FGCU - $137,000

UF - $1.6M
FSU - $1.3M
USF - $633,000
FGCU - $192,000

Other interesting takeaways from FGCU's 2012 budget report:
  • The women's baseketball team accounted for 43% of the university's ticket sales, while the men's team only accounted for 40%.
  • Zero of FGCU's teams broke even in 2012;  it's unlikely the men's 2013 basketball run will be enough to change that this year.
  • There are 5,061 female students at FGCU, compared to just 4,040 males.  Not that the men's basketball team will have any trouble finding female fans upon their return to campus....
Finally, this wasn't in the university's budget, but FGCU conducted a football feasibility study in 2011, which basically said..."don't hold your breath...we can't afford it."  The study estimated football would lose $4.8 million a year, and cost the school upwards of $100 million.

1 comment:

  1. Noah,

    Great job providing relevant statistics with context!

    In looking at the STUDENT FEES and CONTRIBUTIONS/BOOSTERS categories, I see that USF is the highest for student fees and an order of magnitude smaller than UF and FSU for contributions/boosters.

    Yet Doug Woolard negotiats multi-million dollar payout deals for Jim Leavitt and Skip Holtz!

    Why is he still the USF AD?

    UF - $2.4M (2% of budget; $80/student/yr)
    FSU - $7.8M (8% of budget; $244/student/yr)
    USF - $15.5M (36% of budget; $682/student/yr)
    FGCU - $5.2M (47% of budget; $567/student/yr)

    UF - $46.1M
    FSU - $31.0M
    USF - $3.1M
    FGCU - $571,000