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  1. #1

    Default Pioneer Press: Big TV deal for Gophers sports won’t help UMN academics

    per Verges:

    A lucrative new media-rights deal is expected to grow revenue for Golden Gophers athletics by $17 million next year, but the University of Minnesota’s academic side won’t get a share of that windfall.

    As recently as September, President Eric Kaler predicted Minnesota soon would join the short list of universities whose athletics programs rake in more money than they spend.

    “I expect us to be able to do that as new media money comes into the Big Ten,” he said during a Sept. 8 budget work session with the Board of Regents.

    But three months later, after a bowl win and a sexual assault scandal, the U fired its football coaching staff. In the process, the athletics department saddled itself with $7.1 million in one-time transition costs and a new head coach who will make $2 million a year more than his predecessor.

    That’s on top of an $8.45 million hole in this year’s athletics budget caused by weak football ticket sales, a budgeting error and a buyout paid to Syracuse University for hiring away its athletics director, Mark Coyle.

    When all that’s paid off, the athletics budget will start making loan payments on Athletes Village, the $166 million basketball and football practice facility slated to open around the end of this year. The U has secured donations for only about half the cost of the complex.

    Altogether, the financial struggles have taken the prospect of Gopher athletics contributing to the U’s academic mission off the table for the near future.

    “I think we can certainly look at it, but right now, getting them back onto firm financial footing with all the things that they have going on, which is substantial, is top of mind for me,” Brian Burnett, the U’s senior vice president for finance and operations, said in an interview.

    Go Gophers!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Minnetonka, MN


    Start drawing for football and we'll be in great shape. There is a strong link between football success and giving, too.

  3. #3


    Headline seems a little misinforming. It directly helps because the U will presumably no longer have a need to borrow the AD $$ out of the general fund to cover yearly shortfalls or unanticipated expenses.

  4. #4


    Before that meeting, at the request of Hsu and Rosha, administrators compiled three years of budget projections for the athletics department.

    That document, released to the Pioneer Press in response to a public records request, shows athletics borrowing $5.6 million from the U’s general fund and paying it back over the next two years...

    According to the U’s projections, Minnesota’s share of the TV revenue would grow to $42.5 million next year from $25.3 million this year. Total athletics revenue next year is forecast at $120.6 million.

    “Obviously, it’s very, very good news for us and the athletic program,” Burnett said.

    The projections have next year’s athletics budget surplus erasing the current year’s deficit. But athletics would only roughly break even in fiscal years 2019 and 2020, when loan payments for Athletes Village begin.

    If the true financial picture turns out rosier than the conservative projections, the department first will look to rebuild its reserve account for the next coaching transition. Acknowledging pricey coach buyouts as a part of the business, they had set aside $1.45 million before buying out Claeys and his staff; that covered only one-fifth of the transition costs...

    In a review of 2013-14 data provided by the schools, the Chronicle of Higher Education and Huffington Post identified only six universities with self-sustaining sports programs: Louisiana State, Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Purdue and Ohio State."

  5. #5


    Did I miss the story somewhere indicating that UMN Academics were in financial trouble and needed help from the Athletics department? Was the business plan for athletics at the U of M predicated on making money as the number one objective?

    I don't mind someone fact checking whether it is BS when people state that football somehow funds the entire school, but this reads a little more mean spirited towards a program that is doing okay financially with a pretty good future on the horizon.

  6. #6


    Have to remember - the Pioneer Press won a Pulitzer Prize for its reporting on the Gopher Hoops academic fraud scandal. As far as the PP is concerned, you can never go wrong by criticizing something - anything - involving Gopher Sports. It's their niche.

    Essentially, this story comes down to: Gopher Athletic program will likely not be one of the 6 NCAA programs to run an athletic surplus.
    It's like me announcing that I will not be one of the 5 or 6 people my height to dunk a basketball. Trump would call it FAKE NEWS!

  7. #7


    That was pretty much the most negative headline they could think of despite the great news the department is projected to run at or close to the green for the forseeable future.

    Without football and basketball driving the revenue train the other sports would be a boat anchor on the general fund. Since when are athletics self-sustaining at the amateur level, or expected to be? It's a false premise for those with an anti-athletics agenda.

    Kudos, though for posting the actual documents. It's been bookmarked for future debates.
    Character assassinator

  8. Default

    This is acting if athletics and academics have no link whatsoever.

    Say we make it to the Football Playoffs or Final Four one year. We'll get so much exposure as a school which will lead to more and better qualified applicants. Even if people don't choose a college based on their athletics, being in the headlines for positive things related to athletics will get people thinking about the school and will be in people's minds as they decide where to apply to and where to choose.

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