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Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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Main takeaways from UB’s 2023 NCAA financial report

Expenses led to first deficit since 2012, large disparities between male and female sports

<p>Alumni Arena, home to many UB sports teams.</p>

Alumni Arena, home to many UB sports teams.

UB Athletics closed out 2023 with a $577,000 deficit after spending $40,433,875 in operating expenses and generating $39,856,875 in total revenue, according to documents obtained by The Spectrum through a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request.

This is the first time UB has run a deficit on Athletics since 2012. But in 2023, UB’s debt was $479,000 higher than in 2012, according to the Knight-Newhouse College Athletics Database.

Here’s a look at the major expenses and revenues for the past year:

Expenses

UB Athletics’ largest expense was “Athletic Student Aid,” which cost $8,707,093. That money was reserved for student athlete scholarships, which covered summer school, tuition, waivers, aid for student athletes who are inactive due to medical reasons or exhausted eligibility, and “other expenses related to attendance.” This was the largest amount UB has dedicated to student athletes since 2018.

Nearly half that money, or $3,778,676, went exclusively to football. That’s more money than was dedicated to all female athletic scholarships combined, which totaled just $3,554,925.

“Coaching Salaries, Benefits and Bonuses” cost UB an additional $8,301,338. This was the most UB has dedicated to coaches since 2005, the earliest year tracked by the Knight-Newhouse College Athletics Database. There was once again a large gap between football and every other sport except men’s basketball. 

Maurice Linguist, the 2023 football head coach, and Jim Whitesell, the 2023 men’s basketball coach, were the two highest paid coaches. Each earned seven figures in 2023, more than half a million dollars more than the third highest paid coach, women’s basketball coach Becky Burke, who earned $424,832.

The lowest of the reported expenses listed was “Spirit Groups.” That $19,166-budget line includes funds for bands, cheerleaders, mascots and dancers.

Revenues 

In 2023 UB Athletics received $12,461,014 of its funding from “Direct Institutional Support,” or funds that the university itself has provided for athletics. 

The second largest source of funding was “Student Fees,” or  the amount of money that UB generated from the undergraduate-mandatory Athletics fee. The fee provided UB Athletics with $9,580,417 in funding, the most since 2019.

The Athletics fee is currently $265.75 per semester for undergraduates, but that number is set to increase by $19 in the 2024-25 academic year under UB’s five-year fee increase plan.

According to UB Athletics spokesperson Jon Fuller, the fee increase is set to generate an additional $345,000 for UB Athletics and is not an attempt to recoup losses in the deficit.

The $960,538 generated by “Ticket Sales” are a comparatively small source of revenue, though it’s notable because it’s the lowest amount UB has generated from them since 2013, excluding the 2020-21 COVID season, per the Knight-Newhouse College Athletics Database.

Ricardo Castillo is the senior sports editor and can be reached at ricardo.castillo@ubspectrum.com

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