Florida’s University Athletic Association to Make $6 Million in Cuts

According to the Gainsville Sun, The University of Florida (UF) has asked its University Athletic Association (UAA) to make $6 million is cuts, to be returned to the university’s budget. UF President Bernie Machen said, “They ought to take the same cut as everybody else.”

The UAA’s budget reports show more than $80 million in estimated revenue this year coming from booster contributions, ticket sales and licensing and marketing agreements. The $6 million figure was determined as being 10 percent of the budget when obligations such as debt service and bond payments are excluded. The UAA is a nonprofit organization that is legally separate from UF but operated in conjunction with the university. Athletics Director Jeremy Foley reports directly to Machen. The UF Athletic Association’s annually contributes part of its revenue for university programs, and the proposed amount would represent an increase from its contribution in the current academic year but short of an all-time high.

The athletic budget increased this academic year with more money dedicated to the increasing coaching salaries. The UAA’s contribution dropped to $1.8 million, including $1 million for the scholarship program, according to athletics officials. The increased contribution comes as the UAA has signed a new $84 million, 10-year deal with Fox-owned Sun Sports and its partner, the sports marketing company IMG. The deal includes broadcast rights and the sale of advertising at sports venues.

While a NCAA study found that 19 athletics programs in the top-tier Football Bowl Subdivision generated revenues in excess of expenses in 2006, Andrew Zimbalist, a sports economist at Smith College, said the report is flawed and the actual number is as few as six.