Temple needs to examine each sector – including athletics – closely, as it tries to spend less.
The muscle of Temple athletics has strengthened over the past few years. Unfortunately, the costs to maintain the athletics program have only risen.
In 2004, the median total expenses of a Division I school was $28,991,000. In 2009, that figure rose to $45,887,000, according to a NCAA Division I Intercollegiate Athletics report for 2004-09.
As Brian Dzenis reports in “Winning is a losing game,” Page 1, university athletics is a losing money market at Temple much, like athletic programs across the country. Only 14 out of 1,100 universities profited from their athletic programs last year.
For the past three fiscal years, Temple has provided the athletic department with an approximate $9 million subsidy each year to keep the program – which only generated approximately $6.3 million in revenues this year – active. Athletics also receives a portion of the General Activity Fee that all students pay.
As administrators spearhead Temple’s fight for its share of the Pennsylvania budget pie, deans, department heads and program directors must begin their own campaigns to preserve their slice of the Temple budget.
Though the athletics program still has financial shortcomings, so do other areas of the university. The hardest thing to cut from any budget – people – happens to be the most expensive aspect of athletics.
To stay competitive in the world of university athletics, Temple must spend money to hire the best coaches, to recruit the best players, to create the best teams, but each player and coach has his or her own worth, and they’re not cheap. And, as tuition rises every year, so does the cost of athletics.
Out of 477 student athletes, approximately 40 percent are walk-ons and do not receive scholarships, Senior Associate Director and Chief Financial Officer of the athletic department Eric Roedl said. Slightly more than $9.3 million in student aid goes to the remaining 60 percent.
Furthermore, though the average salaries for men’s and women’s teams’ head coaches are $188,213 and $64,459, respectively. Men’s basketball head coach Fran Dunphy’s salary was in the Top 25 salaries at Temple for 2009-10. His total salary stood at $706,000.
The athletic program’s runner-up earner is most likely head football coach Steve Addazio. In 2008-09, former head coach Al Golden made $513,867, according to the university, though the New York Times estimated Golden made between $700,000 and $800,000 in a September 2010 article.
“[Athletics is] always projecting ways to increase their ticket sales, but at the end of the day, it’s just projections,” Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer Anthony Wagner told The Temple News. “The cost of doing business for them keeps going up.”
As we’ve learned during the economic rollercoaster of the past three years, some businesses are saved despite being a losing money game because of their importance to the population. Athletics provide a lot for students, alumni and Temple’s name, but at some time soon, it, like every other area of the university, will have to take a hit.