Intercollegiate athletics workgroup review data

Cassie Buchman, News Editor

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Paul McCann, the interim vice president for business affairs, came to explain data to Workgroup no. 4, which focuses on intercollegiate athletics.

Every year, the NCAA requires the university to do two reports: one internal report the accountant does due Dec. 15 and an annual audit of that information.

When preparing both sets of data, McCann said, there is no one set place for all athletics.

“There’s a few things that say this is general athletics, this is basketball, this is baseball, but there’s a lot of other things that go on in the world of athletics that are not covered within those organizations,” McCann said.

What the university then does in their report is go out and grab all the items that relate to athletics. McCann said this means equipment purchases, Grant-in-Aid and student fees that are housed in other places.

“We start manually collecting everything that is athletic-related,” McCann said. “We pull it together for the NCAA report and the audit.”

An auditor then looks at that document.

“Does it necessarily mean it’s 100 percent accurate?” McCann said. “No, it doesn’t, because of the manual nature of us pulling all those expenses together.”

McCann said they also spent time with athletic director Tom Michael, asking if they had included everything.

“What I was really trying to do in putting these statements together was give everyone a picture of what happens when we bring student-athletes to campus,” McCann said.

He said he did this by bringing in the revenues such as tuition and fees.

“Is it a true profit loss? Probably not,” McCann said. “You could argue you don’t have everything here, and by everything you could say the facilities used by Lantz to operate.”

McCann said this was kept by facilities and they did not share this with everyone because it is difficult to allocate facilities to different entities.

Steve Rich, assistant vice president for advancement, brought up that it could put the group in an awkward position when people see housing and dining are also included.

“My answer to that is that the athletic program pays for housing,” McCann said.

McCann admitted that this might not be consistent with what was shown in academic areas but said that these areas do not pay for housing.

Chemistry professor Dan Sheeran said other programs had a template everyone else used that he was not seeing being used in athletics.

McCann said the information could be put out regarding athletics in a multitude of different funds, though they would not necessarily be something consistent with the data shown.

“I would be happy to put it out there; I just want you to know that it would be different,” McCann said.

Rich said transparency would help everyone.

“I am concerned with the perceptions,” he said.

McCann said if there is a sport not bringing in revenue, they could start asking if it makes sense to keep from a university standpoint.

Rich asked if there is a sport not pulling its own weight currently.

McCann said the larger sports do not make as much money.

“The ones that you typically call revenue-producing sports make less money,” he said.

Workgroup chair Tami Babbs, assistant comptroller, said McCann’s information will be useful.

“We want to look at expenses, see where we’ve already made cuts, and help come up with new ideas,” Babbs said.

Along with these expenses, the group also discussed questions they will ask the students, faculty, coaches and community members they will interview.

These questions include how athletics is important to the university and how to work together on any ideas people have to make it better.

She said the details McCann will provide would be helpful, as well.

“I think having more information will help us be more transparent,” Babbs said.

 

Cassie Buchman can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]