Record $29.6 mil Athletic Budget for UH

HA Note: “The projection currently carries with it a forecast for a $2 million deficit that the athletic department may need help from the university administration in overcoming, especially if travel costs continue to escalate, athletic director Jim Donovan said. The projected budget will keep UH in the running with Boise State for the largest budget in the nine-school Western Athletic Conference. Boise State officials have asked the Idaho State Board of Education to authorize a $29.4 million budget.”

About how they made a small profit last year, JD said:
“We’re still putting the final touches on it but, right now, it looks right now we’ll come in the black a little bit at about $29.15 million.” (HA)

HA Note: “Any surplus would be used to help pay down the $4.4 million accumulated net deficit acquired over the previous five years, Donovan said. That tide of red ink would have risen significantly if not for the Warriors’ appearance in the Sugar Bowl, Donovan said. The Warriors’ share of the WAC’s Bowl Championship Series payout is $4,385,555. After expenses, UH has said it expects to realize about $2.2 million, which will be used to level the 2007-08 balance sheet.”

About the importance of the BCS money, JD said:
“Without it we’d absolutely have been in the red.” (HA)

About how the Athletic Department has been working with the Manoa Chancellor’s Office to try to reduce their projected deficit, JD said:
“We’ve closed the gap quite a bit and think we might be able to close it some more.” (HA)

HA Note: “Of increasing concern, UH officials said, are rising fuel prices that have heavily impacted travel. Donovan said airline costs have more than doubled for some destinations, forcing UH to significantly reduce charter flights. Through ticket sales, sponsorships and television and radio rights athletics pays for approximately 88 percent to 90 percent of its annual operating budget. The university helps support tuition waivers and lower campus maintenance, officials said.”

Ferd wrote in the HA: “When it takes the largest payout to a non-BCS signatory member in history just to have a shot to balance your budget, there is something wrong. OK, a lot.

And that is what we’re told it has taken — approximately $2.2 million from UH’s Sugar Bowl payout of $4,385,555 after expenses — for UH to project a balanced annual budget for the fiscal year that closed Monday. Final returns are pending an outside audit.

Without the windfall from a 12-1 season, UH would have incurred some serious debt. As if the $4.4 million accumulated net deficit over the previous five years wasn’t sobering enough.

Which brings up the question of how an athletic program that took 11-3 and 12-1 football seasons to the bank the past two years could be struggling that much financially? How, indeed, do you attract a 23-year high in average home football attendance (41,325) and not be able, at the very least, to balance your books without a BCS windfall?

Worse yet, if the bottom line is that tight in a once-in-a-lifetime season, what happens if, heaven forbid, you suffer a down year?”


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