While our articles focused specifically on UCLA, others have like USA Today and ESPN have published articles looking at the finances of many different college athletic departments.
ESPN's article was most recent and included data up to the 2012-2013 school year.
According to that data, in 2012-2013, UCLA took in the following revenues:
|Rev from Away Games:||$503,515|
|Contributions and donations:||$14,436,711|
|Payments to coaches and staff from a third party:||$0|
|Media Rights Revenue:||$15,978,379|
|Licensing & Royalties:||$9,882,188|
Now, as Islandbruin2 and I have pointed out, the inherent problem with this set of revenue numbers is the fact that the Total Operating Revenues matches the Total Operating Expenses to the dollar.
This sets off a red flag because, for any enterprise, is darn near impossible for revenues to perfectly match expenses. As anyone who has taken Management 1A with Professor Ravetch knows, revenue equals expenses plus income.
This means that if revenue equals expenses exactly, there can be no net income (or net loss).
Well, the Wooden Athletic Fund twitter account on Friday basically confirmed what we've already know since last year. Either something was fishy or the Morgan Center writes a check from the WAF to balance the books.
It sure appears to be the latter.
While the reported revenue makes it look like the Athletic Department just scrapes by with enough revenue to meet its expenses, the tweet from the WAF paints an entirely different picture.
So, over a two year timeframe (it could be 2011-12 to 2012-13 or more likely is 2012-13 to 2013-14), the WAF raised $116 Million dollars for UCLA Athletics. If you assume that the revenue was raised in equal halves, that's about $58 Million per year.
In all likelihood, it was probably weighted a little more towards the second year because of the change that now requires a contribution for each individual seat for WAF sections at the Rose Bowl and Pauley Pavilion. For argument's sake, let's assume two-thirds of the $118 Million was raised in 2013-14. That would mean that the amount raised for 2012-13 would have been about $40 Million.
Now, scroll back up this page and look at the amount of contributions and donations reported for 2012-13. For the lazy, it's about $14 Million.
This would indicate that UCLA Athletics turned a $25 Million profit for 2012-13 (if it isn't closer to $45 Million).
Please read that again: a estimated twenty-five million dollar profit for 2012-13. But the Morgan Center's reports make it look like they are just scraping by. The Morgan Center's reports make it look like they will be insolvent if they do not receive two and a half million dollar subsidy from student fees. The Morgan Center's reports make it look like they wouldn't survive if they gave all students free admission to all football and basketball games or a free ride to the Rose Bowl.
Instead, the Morgan Center has to be embarrassed by Head Football Coach Jim Mora into giving students a free bus ride to the Spring Showcase. And, do not forget the fact that football season tickets increased by almost 50% for this coming season.