The University of Texas at San Antonio officials will present to the UT System regents a plan to boost their athletic budget from $8.5 million to $19 million by 2016 by adding NCAA football and enhancing its other 16 sports. According to a report by the San Antonio Express-News, the plan notes football will raise the institution’s visibility and promote the university’s mission of affordability and access. As for cost, the bulk of the money will come from students’ pockets. Last year, students voted to double athletics fees from $240 to $480 a year over the next few years with the understanding of adding a football program. Student fees will compose 70 percent of future athletics revenues.
“The student fee number just stuns me. That’s huge,” said Daniel Fulks, an NCAA research consultant and director of the accounting program at Transylvania University in Lexington, Ky. Fulks, who co-authored an NCAA study on the effects of moving up to big-time football, said that in UTSA’s class, student fees make up a median 15 percent of athletics revenues.
While football may help to raise the visibility of an institution, it is also expensive. The report states that “football is a money loser, not a moneymaker, and the jury still is out on whether fielding a team boosts fundraising for the university as a whole.”