Basketball Numbers

So how much does Jim Calhoun and the basketball program really bring in to the university? Calhoun claimed $12 million, but the Cool Justice Report digs up the reality that the number may be a lot less.

UConn men’s basketball generated $7.3 million in revenue and spent $6.1 million in 2007-08, according to information Athletic Director Jeff Hathaway and Assistant Athletic Director Maureen O’Connor filed with the U.S. Department of Education as part of its Equity in Athletics Analysis.

That’s interesting, since the U.S. Department of Education website says they only reported about $2.3 million in operating expenses.

The article speculates that the $12 million number may be for the men’s and women’s programs combined.

If you’d like a point of comparison, according to the U.S. Department of Education the Penn State football program brings in a stunning $53 million, and spends only about $1 million of that on operating expenses. Coach Joe Paterno makes about $500,000/year. Apples and oranges, I know, but both programs are the flagship programs of their respective universities.

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22 responses to “Basketball Numbers

  1. It’s not necessarily something you can easily quantify, but the basketball program put UConn on the map and made it an appealing option for students from around the country. The success of the program can be completely attributed to Calhoun and the players who would play somewhere else if Calhoun wasn’t coaching. The value of the program (and, in turn, Calhoun) can’t be measured just by the revenues and expenses of basketball.

  2. It’s not necessarily something you can easily quantify, but the basketball program put UConn on the map and made it an appealing option for students from around the country. The success of the program can be completely attributed to Calhoun and the players who would play somewhere else if Calhoun wasn’t coaching. The value of the program (and, in turn, Calhoun) can’t be measured just by the revenues and expenses of basketball.

    I think that’s probably accurate. There are a lot of intangibles that go into making a school attractive to students. The basketball program is part of that.

    However, it’s still worth discussing and debating, especially now.

  3. I just can’t believe Paterno makes $500k….while that is certainly a helluva lotta money, it seems a little low for someone who has been coaching that team since the Van Buren administration.

  4. AndersonScooper

    Someone needs to ask Calhoun about the “$12 Million.”

    If what he said wasn’t true, it’s a whopper of a lie.

  5. If what he said wasn’t true, it’s a whopper of a lie.

    His net impact on UConn and the State greatly exceeds $12 million per year.

  6. I just can’t believe Paterno makes $500k….while that is certainly a helluva lotta money, it seems a little low for someone who has been coaching that team since the Van Buren administration.

    That was my reaction as well – they guy is one of the greatest football coaches of all time. And a bargain.

  7. The issue is not whether Calhoun is worth his salary OR if he really does bring in the millions in money to the State that he says he does. The issue is one of sacrifice and an acknowledgment of our State’s Budget Crisis.

    Everyone else appears to be doing their part, no matter how small. The Governor and Lt. Gov took a furlough day along with the senior executive staff and the Senate Dem’s, Senate R’s and House R’s all are requesting a voluntary furlough day as well from their staffs. How about you Jim?

    Calhoun, the highest paid state worker, can’t even take ONE day? Please, Jim…say it ain’t so….show some compassion for the taxpayers who have paid you VERY well over the years.

    I love the fact that Calhoun is a big liberal, raises money for every liberal cause out there, yet when you come to ask HIM for some measly sacrifice to give back something, his bully response is “not one dime!”

    That, my friends, is the defination of a hypocrite.

  8. Then if you apply this same logic throughout various seasons… it seems to me quite plausible that UConn men’s basketball generated $7.3 million in revenue and spent $6.1 million in 2007-08

    The $7 million and $12 million may both be very much on target… depending on the year.

    I won’t speak to the veracity of this info:

    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_much_do_college_teams_receive_in_%27prize_money%27_for_attending_and_or_winning_in_the_NCAA_tournament

    but I know that tournament take home depends on how far you go in the NCAAs.

  9. Maybe this is neither time nor place, but we spent the last two excoriating (My big word of the day) corporate greed in the form of CEO salaries. Has anyone questioned the salaries of college coaches and deans? Columbia is in the midst of a sit in protesting nickles and dimes while tuition, room and board is at $48,000 per year. Talk about waste…

  10. sorry… bad blockquote, but it doesn’t alter the basic point.

  11. Calhoun, the highest paid state worker, can’t even take ONE day? Please, Jim…say it ain’t so….show some compassion for the taxpayers who have paid you VERY well over the years.

    But the taxpayers haven’t really been paying him. In fact, had he gone to coach at some other college, UConn would apparently not have as much money as it does now. So he’s been (if the reports about revenue and expenses are accurate) a net gain for taxpayers, not a net cost. Now, granted, most state employees cannot generate revenue, I know. But remember that if we force him to sacrifice too much because our state is in trouble financially, he could go to some state that is not such a mess financially, and they’d be happy to pay him.

  12. The reports quoted use a different basis for calculating expenses. For example, UConn reports fringe benefit costs on the regular budget reporting but the report for the NCAA used by the feds does not. Also revenue collected by the Foundation on behalf of the basketball would not show in the University’s revenue figure. Gifts for points and scholarships do not show on the University’s books but on the Foundation’s reports.

    As for Penn State spending only $1.0 million on operating expenses that cannot be accurate. The team has 85 full scholarships at a cost of at least $16,000 (assumes all in-state) per head totals over $1.36 million. A D-I team has at least 8 or 9 full-time assistants which is easily over a half million. So the figures quoted are very suspect.

    UConn makes a lot from basketball and spends a lot. The program has brought great recognition to the school and has a positive impact on the state. Like everything else, the golden period of college sports is rapidly coming to a close as TV revenue shrinks, attendance drops and gifts/donations falter. Add on the budget problem for publics and drops in endowments for privates and the outrageous hikes in coaches salaries cannot continue.

  13. Accountability

    Everyone else appears to be doing their part, no matter how small. The Governor and Lt. Gov took a furlough day along with the senior executive staff and the Senate Dem’s, Senate R’s and House R’s all are requesting a voluntary furlough day as well from their staffs. How about you Jim?

    Do people really think that reducing people’s salary is going to solve the true problems that we are having? Especially cutting salaries of those that are creating revenue, like Calhoun. And when the deficit is looking to be in the billions.

    Why can’t people, Government and private alike, take accountability for their own actions and start being responsible. Do you really think that paying Calhoun $1.6 Million is the reason for the deficit?

    And even if the state’s payroll is too high, why don’t we get rid of people that spend all day surfing the internet or writing emails to “friends”. Tough times like these require people to become more resourceful with what is available, what a concept.

    I think I will take Calhoun’s advice now and “Shut Up!”

  14. I think it is quite funny that the Governor makes a big deal about coming to Hartford to work for a day without pay when, as the New Haven Advocate reported she spends at least two days a week at home never even coming into work. If she were honest and truly wanted to lead by example, she would only take pay when she showed up to work. The days she stayed home she would work (or not work) for free.

  15. I think it is quite funny that the Governor makes a big deal about coming to Hartford to work for a day without pay when, as the New Haven Advocate reported she spends at least two days a week at home never even coming into work. If she were honest and truly wanted to lead by example, she would only take pay when she showed up to work. The days she stayed home she would work (or not work) for free.

    I think it is quite funny — no, freaking hysterical — that you believe what you read in the Hartford Advocate. Big fan of massage parlor ads, are you?

  16. AndersonScooper

    Accountability–

    Where you have fixed budgets, to balance them you’re going to need either concessions, lay-offs, or tax increases.

    Here in New Haven, the first push is for union concessions, as those will be less painful than laying people off into this job market, are raising our property taxes which are already sky-high.

    With Calhoun it’s not a matter of what he’s worth. Instead it’s a question of whether Jim, as a Nutmegger, is willing to make some small sacrifice to help close the budget gap while keeping everyone employed, and holding down taxes.

    Calhoun’s “Not one dime!” response is too bad. Would it hurt him to forego his $100,000/year salary increase. (from $1.5 to $1.6 Million?)

    Anyway, let’s hope Donovan’s union buddies don’t respond, “Not one dime!”, because it will mean lay-offs for those without seniority…

  17. Joey, You say:

    the New Haven Advocate reported she spends at least two days a week at home never even coming into work. If she were honest and truly wanted to lead by example, she would only take pay when she showed up to work.

    Not that either of us have the faintest idea exactly how much state work the Governor may or may not do while at home may I suggest very few of us who don’t punch a clock are really every off work when at home. In fact these days more and more work is done at home.

    I bet if you asked 100 teachers if they correct papers or prepare lesson plans each night at home, as well as on week ends, you would get a 100 teachers saying they do. Or do you really think that just because they are doing that at home, and not in school, they are not actually still working?

    Do you really think the Governor is ever off the clock when at home?

    However if we accept your argument then a great number of US Senators should return their last year’s pay because they spent most of their time involved in the Presidential race and not at work. Including both our CT senators. Actually after typing that, I think I may have talked myself into agreeing with you 🙂

  18. I just can’t believe Paterno makes $500k….while that is certainly a helluva lotta money, it seems a little low for someone who has been coaching that team since the Van Buren administration.

    Penn State grad and season ticket holder here. It is in fact true. JoePa makes about $500,000. The Harrisburg papers were on a mission to embarrass Joe and the University and filed a FOIA request with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

    I think Genghis is right to compare Calhoun with JoePa. Consider this – Penn State went to a grand total of six bowl games from 1887 to 1965. Since Joe took over in 1966, they have gone to 35 bowls. Joe took PSU to the next level – and in doing so he also contributed $10 million to the library which now bears his name (contributed, not raised $10 million).

    I think Jim Calhoun did the same for UCONN that Joe did for PSU. PSU was a very good eastern football team; now PSU is part of the Big Ten and missed playing in the national championship game by a one point loss at Iowa. Jim took UCONN from being a very good regional power, to a national power. The caliber of hoops recruits who come to UCONN is amazing. And that also affects football.

    The impact of these “elevations” of status is considerable. Alumni contributions, corporate partnerships, even increased applications and national exposure all inure to the university’s benefit.

    Jim Calhoun was talking hard dollars. I’m sure the soft dollar impact on the university has been far greater.

  19. calhoun’s numbers bear out when you count both the men’s and women’s programs … if you count football the three programs brought in a net profit of about $17 million in 07-08. Most of that is spent on the other programs and overall the program appears to contribute about $100k to the school, if the dept. of ed data is accurate. there’s a big chunk of money in there that doesn’t seem to have a clear explanation, but some people are looking into that… nevertheless, this really isn’t about whether calhoun is a financial benefit to the university. he has been for a long time. however, how far can a “benefit” to the university go across the line of civility and class before he/she is no longer worthy of representing you?

    to me calhoun crossed that line a long time ago… he’s an embarrassment like bob knight was an embarrassment to indiana.

    granted, ken asked the first question and calhoun was still visibly sweating from his exertion during the game… he’s also cognizant of the other writers’ deadlines. but it was a question about his salary in press conference and he failed to maintain his composure. shame on him and shame on the university for putting up with it.

    he could have made some simple conciliatory comment and referred questions to the AD. instead, he destroyed a lot of goodwill toward the university during the most catastrophic budget year maybe in the school’s history. i have no idea what the school’s budget went through during the depression…

    but make no mistake… taxpayers are paying between $200 million and $300 million a year to operate the school so that jim calhoun and the other two revenue-producing programs can make just enough money for the whole athletics program to break even.

    all the positive advertising produced by these winning programs themselves is meaningless unless they can contribute a quantifiable $200-$300 million a year.

  20. actually i don’t know if the $100k leftover in the athletics department is turned over to the university… it just looks like that’s what the net profit was for 07-08.

    bottom line is it’s a fairly complicated budget… the budget is over $1 billion and the state contributes only a portion of it… other revenue shows up in donations, tuition, research grants, etc. I covered the university for the JI some years ago and had a really good handle on it back then but it’s been a lot of years and it’s likely that the school’s budget is even more complicated now. but they like to spin the athletics budget as a standalone entity while the uconn foundation portion isn’t part of the public record by statute (a bad statute at that) … but that’s a two way street. in the end it’s all one pot of money whether it comes from taxpayers or elsewhere, because without the taxpayers there’s no university.

  21. If a law passes requiring state employees to take a “furlough” day or two, it would apply to Calhoun, just as it would one of the union members.

  22. Why on earth does it make sense to make private citizens poorer (by increasing their tax burdeon) to make public employees richer??

    I can’t believe the fight the unions are making. Secondly, Yale and Harvard don’t have very impressive football or basketball programs. I mean, how many players have they sent to the NBA? If UConn has attracted higher caliber students through their basketball rankings, then clearly Ivy League diplomas must be worthless!

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