Wednesday June 12, 2013University Athletic Association Board of Directors Approves 2013-14 Budget
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – As the cost of tuition, facility upgrades, technological improvements and other factors of running a day-to-day business continue to increase at campuses across the country, the University Athletic Association’s operating budget reflects those trends.
UF athletic director Jeremy Foley proposed a $100.7 million budget for the 2013-14 academic year that was approved by the UAA’s Board of Directors on Wednesday. The figure represents a modest 3.5 percent increase on last year’s budget. The UAA is responsible for nearly 96 percent of its total funding.
The major source of revenue for the UAA is the football program, which generates 67 percent of revenue and represents only 16 percent of the operating budget. Gator Boosters, Inc., football and men’s basketball ticket sales, and SEC revenue from bowl games and television contracts also contribute significantly to revenues.
If the UAA was a part of the University of Florida’s budget, it would represent less than three percent of the $3.9 billion budget the institution and UF Health operated under for the 2012-13 academic year. The UAA is a direct support organization and is not part of the University figure.
As part of the UAA’s budget for the upcoming year, the organization that operates Gators athletics will continue to add to the $73.9 million it has donated to the university since 1990, a figure that included $6.4 million during the ’12-13 fiscal calendar year.
The 2013-14 budget allots $12.5 million to fund the cost of student-athlete scholarships, a figure that has increased 54.3 percent from $8.1 million in just five years. The UAA will spend an additional $21 million to operate its 21 intercollegiate teams.
The UAA is funding 264.2 student-athlete scholarships, the maximum which is permitted by the NCAA in the 21 sports it sponsors.
Among the notable increased costs that will be reflected in the summary presented to the board:
Other factors reflected in the growth of the UAA budget in recent years include the addition of lacrosse, which features a roster primarily made up of out-of-state players from hotbed lacrosse regions in the Northeast that has allowed the Gators to win three conference championships and contend for national titles in the program’s infancy.
The UAA’s commitment to first-class athletic facilities has translated to more than $100 million in capital improvements over the last seven, such as the new $4.3 million gymnastics studio that opened in December and was christened with an NCAA championship banner – the program’s first – in April. All capital improvement funds are raised internally without state or University support.
And then there are the costs reflected in enhanced fan access to teams through innovative media, such as GatorVision and GatorZone.com.
The budget also includes costs associated with running the UAA’s nutrition department, which provides direction to student-athletes on proper diet related to performance, four training rooms budgeted at $1.5 million, the Goodwill Gators community service and various support departments such as aviation, information technology and maintenance.
Also, a major technological improvement that is part of this budget is a new phone switch. In addition to the much-needed technology upgrade for the UAA’s current phone system (which was installed in 1988), the switch directly connects UF's ticket office to Ticketmaster. The improved system makes it easier for fans to purchase tickets to Florida sporting events, a project that will cost the UAA about $780,000 to install.