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Casualties abound in NCAA arms race

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Casualties abound in NCAA arms race

Postby NavyCrimson » Wed Apr 11, 2001 1:38 am

Here it is.....i couldn't get it either when i tried this am....oh well...

this is the 'original' X/L.A.Mustang with a new beginning: Navy&Crimson (of course the original, TRUE & REAL colors of SMOOOOOOOOOOOOO) at your service.


Casualties abound in NCAA arms race
By Adam Thompson
Denver Post Sports Writer
April 9, 2001 - Bob Frederick sat in the bowels of Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo., weary from a week of explaining himself. Days earlier, the Kansas athletic director had cut his men's tennis and men's swimming programs to solve what he called a "million-dollar problem" in next year's budget. And he did it publicly, with most of the Midwest media in town for the Big 12 basketball tournaments.
The Kansas athletic department was facing a $1 million shortfall in one year and a $2.5 million shortfall in four, despite fielding one of the country's top men's basketball programs. But the Jayhawks' basketball team does not generate money the way Florida State, Michigan or Texas football does.
Frederick marvels at the $450,000 raise Texas football coach Mack Brown received, despite a 2000 season most of that program's supporters would call disappointing and a salary that already was $1 million.
"I mean, if we had an extra $450,000, we could almost have saved the two sports that we've just discontinued," Frederick said, barely above a whisper.
It's a familiar lament in college sports today. At most athletic departments, nonrevenue sports depend on football and, to a lesser degree, men's basketball to generate the money needed to keep them alive. But the costs of facilities and coaching salaries to keep the money programs competitive with their rivals are soaring to the point that some critics are comparing today's climate in college sports to the 50-year arms race between the United States and Soviet Union.
At the college level, excessive spending may translate into high ticket prices or personal donations for the right to buy tickets. But it also can mean fewer opportunities for athletes as nonrevenue sports are eliminated.
Recently, two of Frederick's Big 12 colleagues, Nebraska's Bill Byrne and Iowa State's Bruce Van De Velde, each announced the dissolution of two men's programs, partly because of Title IX considerations but greatly because of financial holes their departments hoped to avoid. Both cut men's swimming, leaving four Big 12 schools to compete in that endangered species of a sport.
Van De Velde told The Ames (Iowa) Tribune that new salaries given to men's basketball coach Larry Eustachy ($1.1 million) and football coach Dan McCarney ($600,000) would have resulted in a budget deficit. He defended the raises as necessary to retain winning coaches. Without those coaches, the programs lose games and the department loses money. Beyond those giant salaries, Iowa State also faced a $16.1 million decrease in state funding for the next fiscal year at a time when tuition, travel, utilities and health care costs should all rise.
Excellence not enough
Though he understands how necessary football and men's basketball are to viable athletic departments and blames neither Eustachy nor McCarney, Iowa State swimming coach Trip Hedrick remains confused by his situation. It's not as if his men's team was hurting when it was dissolved. This year, the Cyclones placed 24th at the men's NCAA championships, had six All-Americans, six academic All-Americans, a grade point average of 3.1 for the first semester and a $700,000 scholarship endowment.
"When you do all those things and it's not enough to be considered for continued existence, you throw your hands up and wonder what more you can do," Hedrick said.
NCAA president Cedric Dempsey has stated his concern about these trends. Of the 976 member schools in his organization, only 48 generate more revenue than they spend without any institutional support. A full 37 percent of Colorado State's athletics budget comes from general university funds, while Colorado gets 8 percent of its budget from university support and student fees. The money troubles already are the topic of discussion on the NCAA's football issues committee.
Recently, Dempsey was disturbed to hear a conference commissioner's first reaction to a member school advancing in the men's NCAA basketball tournament being that the conference would receive $860,000.
"I do feel it's important that we begin to change that focus," said Dempsey, who admitted that, at times, he was guilty of such thinking himself as Arizona's athletic director. "Otherwise, that 48 teams is going to be less and less and less. And soon, we will have fewer programs in this country, and we will leave out a lot of opportunities for young people to compete in sports, which I think still has great educational value to it."
But when 95 percent of NCAA schools cannot fully sustain themselves, it's hard for athletic directors not to look at everything in terms of dollars and cents.
"I think that it's just slowly getting to a point again with escalating salaries, escalating costs of doing business, facilities improvements, people are borrowing money, whether it's Colorado or Missouri or Kansas or Texas. We're borrowing money," Missouri athletic director Mike Alden said. "All of a sudden, we have a mortgage, where we didn't have a mortgage before. ... You'd better be able to make revenues to be able to make your mortgage payments, or you're going to have problems."
In such situations, most schools are left with few options. They can do what Colorado does and try to stay within striking distance of the most successful programs competitively and financially. They can follow the path of Colorado State and try to make their money stretch further. Then, there is the way that troubles Dempsey the most, a choice made by seven schools in California alone. When their football programs failed in Division I-A, instead of dropping in classification, they gave up.
High cost of competing
There's a framed picture on the wall of Jon Burianek, CU's senior associate athletic director and the department's No. 1 numbers cruncher. It's of a $6 ticket to a Buffaloes football game in 1969, and at this point, it almost belongs in a museum. This year, CU will ask its fans to pay $41 to attend each home game.
The year Burianek arrived at CU, 1968, the football team spent $35,062 to travel for five away games. Today, the school expects to pay $60,000 to $70,000 for each charter flight its football team takes.
Economic crunches are nothing new to athletics. In 1980, Colorado eliminated seven sports because its budget was so far in the red. But today, CU athletic director [deleted] Tharp talks of bringing baseball, one of the programs cut that year, back to life. He does not perceive any kind of emergency in majorcollege athletics, and says he does not worry about any arms race, only his own teams.
"I don't believe having more money in and of itself makes you better at something," Tharp said. "But there is a point where you're so behind somebody, you can't hire good coaches. You can't hire good assistant coaches. You can't hire great trainers. You can't have a great strength and conditioning program. There's a point where you can't compete."
Those in Tharp's position often walk a financial tightrope. CU will receive $1.2 million from Nike this academic year and received $1.1 million a year ago, but the school's deal with the shoe giant ends in June. Tharp says the two parties are "actively talking" and could make a recommendation sometime in the spring. Last May, Tharp had expressed a hope of wrapping up the deal before the start of the 2000 football season.
Though he said the two sides are "pretty close," he would not go so far as to say a new deal is a foregone conclusion. Further complicating matters is a market that increasingly belongs to Nike alone. In recent years, Adidas and Reebok have pulled back on college sponsorship, givi
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Re: Casualties abound in NCAA arms race

Postby PK » Wed Apr 11, 2001 11:27 am

Your new handle is GREAT! Thanks for finding "The arms race..." for us.
SMU's first president, Robert S. Hyer, selected Harvard Crimson and Yale Blue as SMU's colors to symbolize SMU's high academic standards. We are one of the few Universities to have school colors with real meaning...and we just blow them off.
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Re: Casualties abound in NCAA arms race

Postby NavyCrimson » Wed Apr 11, 2001 11:42 am

thanx
BRING BACK THE GLORY DAYS OF SMU FOOTBALL!!!

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