The University Record, September 20, 1999

Athletic deficit larger than anticipated

From the Office of Intercollegiate Athletics

The Athletic Department released Sept. 15 its audited financial statements for the 1998-99 fiscal year. Athletic Director Tom Goss said the total budget of $46 million reflects an operating deficit for the year of approximately $2.8 million—$756,000 more than was announced in June.

The deficit will be covered by the department’s reserves, which totaled more than $20 million as of June 30, Goss said.

“This deficit will not affect our proposed budget for 1999–2000,” added Goss. “We have put together a conservative budget and implemented new budget monitoring and control procedures for the coming year. I am confident we will be able to meet it.”

Goss explained that the figures released in June were forecasts, and not audited results. These are not finalized until after the books are closed in August. “Forecasting is not an exact science,” he noted. “Our projections were based on a number of assumptions about revenue and expenses, some of which turned out to be inaccurate.”

Projections differed from final results for a number of specific expenses and revenues, including:

  • Gift revenues were $500,000 less than projected. Gift revenues received in May and June 1999 were lower than those received in the same period in 1998. However, annual gifts received in 1998–99, excluding the Stadium brick program, exceeded gift income from the prior year.

  • Investment income was $167, 000 less than projections, which were based on April 1999 results.

  • Facilities expenses were $138,000 higher than projected due to heavier use of facilities in May and June when compared with the same time period last year, with corresponding increased operating expenses in utilities and maintenance. For fiscal year 1999, however, total facility operating expenses were lower than in 1998.

  • Post-season expenses were $214,000 higher than projected. Unanticipated post-season invitations occurred in several sports late in the fiscal year. For the year, this expense category remained below last year’s total.

  • A variety of other increased expenses and lower-than-projected revenues accounted for an additional $173,000 change from the June projections.

    The department, however, did do better than expected in a number of areas, including higher than projected revenue in spectator admissions, licensing royalties, TV and radio income, corporate sponsorship and concession sales, and lower-than-expected administrative and other expenses. The net effect of these increases in areas was an improvement of $436,000 over projections.

    “It’s important to note the long-term financial health of our department,” Goss said. “Despite the volatility of the business, we are one of the few major college athletic programs to be financially self-sufficient, and we are committed to living up to these expectations in the future.”

    For fiscal year 1997–98, the Athletic Department achieved an operating surplus of $5.9 million, resulting in a $3.1 million operating surplus over a two-year period.