Council and Committee Briefs

Big Investments in Football Reviewed by Special Committee

The Faculty Senate’s Ad Hoc Committee on FBS Football met recently, and they had some tough questions for John McCutcheon and the department of athletics. Formed in the wake of the administration’s decision to invest millions of dollars in initiatives aimed at boosting UMass football’s status, including a move from the FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) to the FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) (i.e. big business), the committee is tasked with evaluating the changes and their success over the next three years, and possibly longer. In a moment when tuition and fees are at their highest point ever, grad student funding is diminishing, the student health care plan eroded, and generally speaking students and their families bearing the weight of such misguided de-funding, we should pay very close attention to the lavish funding being showered upon the Football program. Sure, we always hear that if this sort of gamble pays off, a prestigious football program can yield substantial returns to a university (with the trickle down implicit, but by no means guaranteed). But this long-term investment is at best risky, at worst downright irresponsible. The Boston Globe reported in September, citing comments from Chancellors Holub (former) and Subbaswamy (current), that one of the long-term goals of the plan is to reduce the university’s total investment in football (currently in the 4-5 million dollar range), but that reductions would not even begin until 2016, if ever. In a recent story at Inside Higher Ed exploring the hidden costs of football, Lewis Margolis argues that “in the multibillion-dollar world of Division I intercollegiate sports, some costs are part of the public conversation and others are not, making it difficult for university administrators, faculty members and fans to understand the true costs of the athletic enterprise.” Well, in the interest of making this conversation more public, GSS is posting some basic information emerging from the ad hoc committee. GSS is granted one seat on the committee to represent the voice of graduate students, so if you have any thoughts or concerns you would like us to share with the committee, please contact us at

Recent questions & answers** from the committee:

**Please note, GSS has copies of the financial attachments referred to in this Q & A, but they are too lengthy to publish here. If you wish to see them, please contact us directly.

Q: What have been the cost of the new marketing campaign, including print and media advertising, new uniforms, media events since the decision was made to move to the MACC?  What are the projected marketing costs in the coming years?

A: The athletic department originally identified 100K from our marketing budget to direct to the initial marketing and advertising campaign. We were able to augment this with an additional $150K that we received from the MAC conference as a onetime supplemental distribution resulting from Temple University’s departure settlement. In consultation with University Relations an appeal was made to then-Chancellor Holub in mid-June, 2012 for additional one-time funding to fully implement a comprehensive roll-out throughout Massachusetts, with a concentration in the eastern part of the state. At that time, then-Chancellor Holub allocated an additional $500K to University Relations in order to support the joint effort.

The football uniforms were not part of the marketing campaign. They were purchased through fundraising efforts and were therefore paid for by donations specific to the football program.  

Future marketing efforts will be determined as part of the regular budget development process.

Q: What is the full compensation for each football coach, including the head coach, including not only salary but other compensation, such as deferred income, concession receipts, annuities, cars, housing, bonuses, etc.?

A: The coaches salary costs are listed on the financial updates we provided to the senate last spring (see Attachment B Line 2). This budget includes car allowances for assistant coaches Only the head coach has a contract that includes performance incentives in addition to base pay. We have provided a copy of Coach Molnar’s contract for your information (see Attachment E). 

Q: What are the additional recruiting costs that come with moving to an FBS league?

 A: The recruiting budget and projected increase was included in our original pro-forma (see Attachment A Line #20) and our presentation to the senate last spring (see attachment B Line #4).

Q: What are additional costs related to holding football games at Gillette, such as the many buses hired to allow students on campus to attend?

A: Based on the Gillette contract, the game operating expenses paid directly by UMass will decrease (i.e. ticket takers, ushers, etc.).  Therefore, we anticipate that the game expense line in the original pro forma (see Attachment A Line #23) will be lower which will offset other operating expenses such as team travel that we anticipate to be higher with fuel prices, etc.   

Student bus transportation for the 2012 season is approximately $25 per student per game (transportation will be provided for 4 games). Based on our experience with the Colonial Clash games the past two seasons, student attendance at home games in Amherst, and the first game of the season we project that 5,040 students will be transported by bus at a total cost of approximately $125,000.  This cost along with the student pre game BBQ at Gillette which will cost approximately $75,600 for the season will be funded from on campus vending concessions revenue.

Q: –What are the total costs of the football stadium project?  Has it changed from the $54 total cost (over 30 years)?  What are the total costs of architectural services, and have those been factored into the total cost?

Training Facility                                                      $21,260,000

                  Press Box                                                      $4,830,000

                  Site Landscape & Fencing                  $1,370,000


                  Construction Cost                                    $27,460,000

                   Soft Cost (1)                                                      $7,050,000


                  Total Project Cost                                    $34,510,000

(1)   Soft Cost include: Project Management, Designer Fees, Furnishings, Fixtures, Equipment, Construction Change Order Contingency

Q: What additional staff have been added beyond coaches that are related to the expansion of the football program, such as additional mentors, medical and psychological support staff, administrative staff, etc.?

A: There have been no additional staff added to support areas as a result of the transition to FBS.

 Q: What additional medical costs are associated with the FBS football program?

A: There are no additional medical costs as a result of the transition to FBS (see Attachment B Line #9).

Q: How much does varying attendance affect the revenues to football?  How much does each attendee, on average, bring in revenue?

A: Attendance and pricing are the two variables on ticket revenue. Attachment D is the original illustration of several scenarios on ticket sales, related game expenses and net to UMass.

Since UMass does not receive any concessions income, per person revenue would be based primarily on ticket revenue and would vary based on ticket pricing.

Q: What is the total cost of tuition and fee waivers for football scholarship students, including the breakdown between in-state and out-of-state waivers?

A: Total scholarship expense costs are on the original pro forma (see Attachment A Line #11) and on the senate presentation from the spring (see Attachment B Line #1).  This includes all costs associated with scholarships – tuition, fees, room, and board. 

Total amount of out of state waiver revenue that will cover a portion of the total scholarship expenses is also on the original pro forma (see Attachment A Line #4) and on the senate presentation from the spring (see Attachment C Line #4). 

Total amount of BHE waiver revenue that will cover a portion of the total scholarship expenses is also on the original pro forma (see Attachment A Line #2) and on the senate presentation from the spring (see Attachment C Line #2).  Please note that BHE waivers are a portion of Line #2 on each document.  Please note that we project the BHE waivers to be around $609,086 in FY13.

Q: How much more must the Athletic Department spend on athletic scholarships for women in order to be in compliance with Title IX?

A: Total additional scholarship expense costs for women’s sports are listed on the original pro-forma (see Attachment A Line #34 and #35). The revenue to cover those additional scholarship costs (including waivers) for women’s programs is also included on the original pro forma (see Attachment A Line #30, #31, and #32). 




No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: