Athletics does not make a profit.
I just had to get that out of my system after reading the “Success equals sales” article in Thursday’s Jambar. In the article, Rick Love, associate director of athletics, said, “The money that is raised from ticket sales goes back into the general athletic department budget, first and foremost paying for scholarships. …
Any money left after balancing the budgets can be used for capital improvements, such as new equipment or new uniforms.”
This statement is profoundly misleading and leads the reader to infer many things that are simply not true. The first part of the statement is true where he says that money raised goes back to the general athletic budget, but the clear truth ends there. The rest of the statement is murky.
For example, Love implies that the $90,000 in season ticket sales is used first and foremost for paying for scholarships.
However, this cannot be true. According to Appendix D of the fiscal year 2013 YSU budget, in 2013, from the general fund of the university (and thus from student tuition dollars) the university contributes more than $9.05 million to athletics, with $4.18 million going to “scholarship support” and the rest to operating costs.
This goes into athletics’ overall budget along with all of the money made from ticket sales. In the expense section of Appendix D of the FY 2013 budget, it indicates that exactly that $4.18 million is expended on scholarships. So, Love’s statements cannot possibly be true, as not a single cent of any ticket sales goes to paying for scholarships.
Not a cent!
All of the scholarship money is paid for out of the $810 per student (roughly 10 percent of overall tuition) that goes from our tuition through the general fund to athletics. Students should not be misled to think otherwise.
In the second half of the statement, Love says that after balancing the budget, the leftover money goes to things like capital improvements.
Now, some of the ticket money may go to that, but unless Love was referring to the subsidized athletics budget, their budget is in no way balanced.
Athletics brings in $2.9 million in revenue and spends $11.96 million, resulting in a deficit of more than $9 million.
A deficit of more than 300 percent makes the federal budget deficit look tiny in comparison (that sound you hear is Rand Paul having a heart attack).
Love mentions that leftover money is used for capital improvements like equipment and uniforms, but perhaps athletics should use its leftover money for something else, like keeping promises.
When the YSU football team played the University of Pittsburgh, the Student Government Association sponsored two large buses full of students to go to Pittsburgh and support our team.
After denying our request for tickets to the game for each student on the buses, athletics promised $500 to help with part of the cost of the second bus.
However, after the game, SGA had a lot of trouble receiving the money from athletics, and after many delays, SGA finally received $0. The buses cost more than $1,775.
I would not manipulate facts to Jambar reporters to make my books look better, so I do not want anyone acting like everything is fine and well in this case, when clearly a small increase in ticket sales will not make a large difference to the amount of scholarships or new athletic facilities.
The biggest reason athletics even exists is because of tuition-paying students.