Such a deal

Adventures in fiscal mismanagement, University of Cincinnati edition:

In February 2014, then-University of Cincinnati President Santa Ono announced that he had chosen Mike Bohn as the school’s new athletic director.

“To recruit a leader of Mike’s caliber and national standing only reaffirms the strength, promise and pride of UC Athletics,” Ono said during Bohn’s introductory news conference.

Bohn was awarded a five-year contract. In 2015, Ono extended his contract through 2021, prompting the UC athletic director to promise a “seismic transformation” within the program.

“We want national respect and the ability to play on the biggest stage possible,” Bohn told Fox19 in October 2015. “It’s really fun to be a part of. I feel like this is our time.”

While the UC Athletic Department has experienced a profound transformation under Bohn, it is not the one he intended. Deficits have soared and students are paying the price.

Between 2014 and 2017, the athletic department’s deficit totaled almost $102 million — a 33 percent increase over the prior four years, records show.

Okay, so the guy obviously can’t manage money.  That hardly makes him unusual.  What’s so special at Cincy?

UC officials have covered the deficit with student fees and money from the school’s general fund, which is primarily funded by student tuition. For a full-time undergraduate student, the four-year price tag to cover the athletic department’s deficit was almost $4,900, records show.

Holy money drain, Batman!

The department’s total expenses for 2017 were $62.8 million, meaning student subsidies covered nearly 43 percent of their expenses, records show.

Wow.  How do you sell that?

The News Record attempted on numerous occasions over six weeks to schedule an interview with Bohn through a UC Athletic Department representative. Despite their assurances that a meeting with Bohn was forthcoming, they were unable to arrange the interview.

“It’s an investment, and it’s an investment in the enterprise on campus,” Bohn said of athletic subsidies in a 2015 interview with CityBeat. “It’s a strategic investment with a high return.”

These guys don’t lack for blind arrogance, do they?  I think students would have done better putting that money in a CD.



Filed under It's Just Bidness

14 responses to “Such a deal

  1. gastr1

    I’m curious what those athletic fees were before he started raising them to $400/semester, and who approved the raises. Typically student fees cannot be added, cut, or altered without the approval of a student government organization and/or the academic affairs office. So, the guy had help, I’m sure.


  2. Chi-town Dawg

    This is not surprising. My stepdaughter is going to play soccer for a Big 10 school next year and during her recruitment Cincinnati was one of the finalists. There were several meetings with the coaching staff and viewing of the facilities that left us blown away with the amount of money spent on a revenue losing sport such as women’s soccer. The sport staff structure and facilities for their soccer program could rival many P5 football programs. I could never figure out how they could do it hence all the deficit spending the article mentions. If this is for women’s soccer, I can’t even imagine how much was wasted on football and basketball.


  3. PharmDawg

    Georgia State University: “Hold my beer.”


    • Ricky McDurden

      Do Perimeter campus students have to pay into State’s athletics fee as well? Or just Atlanta campus?


  4. JasonC

    Next PAC-12 Commissioner?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jack Klompus

    Wtf? This is nuts. So much bitching and whining about the cost of college and this shit never gets mentioned. Bohn got canned from his last job for doing similar things with very poor results. His biggest accomplishment at CU was getting turned down by Booch.


  6. Bright Idea

    Like Ga Southern if students were allowed to vote they would OK these fee increases cause they are spending daddy’s money or borrowing it. These ADs know that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • barneydawg

      I agree that a lot of the $4,900 is borrowed in the end. And later, after graduation, that debt helps delay initial home purchases and other more essential expenditures.

      I took a hiatus from my business profession many years ago to work on a grad degree. I worked almost full time in finance at the school I attended. After a full career in the for-profit business world, I can tell you that I saw more vicious back-stabbing, politics, petty behavior, waste and ineptitude working two years in education than I saw in decades in what we think of as cut-throat business. I am not surprised by this arttilce


  7. Whiskeydawg

    Maybe Bohn should run for Congress.



    They should go ahead and charge the students more to help pay the athletes salaries. I keed, I keed.


  9. Anonymous

    You are missing the entire point to the spending

    “We want national respect and the ability to play on the biggest stage possible,”

    It seems fairly obvious that they are probably looking toward the next round of conference expansion / realignment. Team competitiveness, facilities, and academics all play into those decisions. If they want to join a P5 conference, they will need to have facilities in line with the schools in that conference. In their minds, they are competing with Colorado State, Houston, Memphis, Boise State, UCF, USF, and SDSU for a chance to join the big boys. If they pull it off, the increase in revenue should pay for all of the spending. If they don’t, well, they will probably get jobs at better schools as these people always seem to fail upward.


    • DawgPhan

      another way to put this is instead of paying the mortgage they are buying scratch off tickets each month.

      There isnt another big realignment coming for the secondary schools, if anything the second tier schools currently in power 5 are getting culled from the big payday next time they do the tv contracts. The networks know that a Illinois v Indiana game is a money loser but they are paying a premium for it.

      Almost no chance that any current group of 5 can make the jump to power 5. much more likely that we see a reduction in the power 5 before they expand it.


    • Nah, I didn’t miss that — it’s why I brought up the “strategic investment” quote.

      Problem is, Cinci’s already whiffed once on conference expansion and it’s hard to see what about this is making it any more attractive.

      In any event, doesn’t the school owe it to the students who are getting hit with more than $1200/year in athletic fees to be clear about what the money is going for?


  10. stoopnagle

    Your student loan dollars at work.