You’ve got to spend money to lose money.

Man, Rutgers athletics are expensive (h/t Brad Wolverton).

… Rutgers funneled $28.5 million from the university budget and student fees into sports, the most among 54 U.S. public universities in the biggest football conferences, based on data compiled by Bloomberg for the fiscal year ended last June. It was at least the second straight year at the top of the list for the state university of New Jersey, despite cost-cutting after lawmakers and faculty protested that academics were losing out.

That basically happened as a result of the football program’s slide last season.

Fiscal 2011 included the first losing football season in six years. Ticket sales for all sports, led by football, plunged by $3.1 million; contributions fell $1.5 million; and income from royalties and licensing declined $477,558. The lost revenue more than offset the spending reductions Pernetti was making.

Revenue Shortfall

Pernetti squeezed athletic administration salaries 12 percent by negotiating lower pay for new employees and shifting responsibilities of people who left or retired to remaining workers. He reduced travel costs 21 percent. And he lowered fundraising, marketing and promotion expenses 24 percent by using more e-mail.

Pernetti still needed $9 million from student athletics fees and $19.4 million from the Rutgers general budget, according to the school’s report. The total worked out to $969 a student, more than three times the average among the 54 universities.

You want to know what’s sad?  Coach Schiano’s departure to the NFL turned out to be a cost-saving boon, as the school chose to promote an assistant who will make more than $1 million/year less.  You know what’s even sadder?  That Rutgers’ AD thinks the next Big East TV contract is going to “at least” double in revenue.  Oy.

If you’re interested, there’s an interactive chart here where you can see how Georgia stacks up against other public schools in raising funds outside of the athletic department.


Filed under Big East Football, It's Just Bidness

9 responses to “You’ve got to spend money to lose money.

  1. concerned alumnus

    If I understand the article and chart correctly, UGA gave the AD $3.2 million in student fees for the 2011 fiscal year. Why? I was under the impression that our athletic department was totally self sufficient (enough to net a huge profit every year and donate some of that profit to the school).


    • Why? Quite simply, because it can.

      In an era of declining government support for higher education, you’d be silly not to scrape up every quarter from where it fell between the couch cushions.


  2. concerned alumnus

    But what would be the point of doing that if the AD is just going to donate money back to the school every year? I can’t remember what that donation averages out to be but I’m pretty sure it’s more than $3.2 million. Why not just keep the student fees on the academics side of the house to begin with? Seems like it’s just an exercise in shuffling money around for no reason.


    • concerned alumnus

      This was supposed to be in response to your response above Senator. I need to pay more attention to whether I’m starting a new comment thread or responding.


    • The same reason federal and state govts with hold income taxes from your paycheck. It may turn out at the end of the year that you are owed a refund, but no way a govt, or AD in this case, is going to turn down an interest free loan to fund operations.


      • concerned alumnus

        I’m not sure that analogy fits. In this situation, the institution itself would be the government, collecting the fees (taxes) from the students (taxpayers). It then uses a portion of those fees to finance its athletic department, which doesn’t need the financing anyway b/c it is well beyond being self sufficient.

        The athletic department is not even close to having a deficit or debt problem, as evidenced by the financial information we’ve seen over many years. Why use those student fees to finance the athletic department? Why not apply them towards academics, where money is much, much tighter?


  3. Scorpio Jones, III

    And, according to the Bloomberg chart, the University of Alabama gave the athletic department somewhere in the neighborhood of $7 million?

    Paging BD…yo….was up wi dat?


    • stoopnagle

      Why do people choose to go to Bama? or Georgia? For many, it’s as much about the pursuit of the “collegiate ideal” as it is about book learnin’. And what’s one of the key components? FOOSBALL, Bobby Bouche.