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UH athletics has lowest subsidies in Big West, study finds

By Ferd Lewis

LAST UPDATED: 01:12 p.m. HST, Jun 05, 2014

University of Hawaii athletics are subsidized at the lowest percentage of any school in the nine-member Big West Conference, based on figures from a national study.

The Rainbow Warriors and Rainbow Wahine were subsidized at a 40.13 percent rate in 2013, according to a survey compiled by USA Today and the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center and released on Thursday.

That is a rate less than half of that of four schools in the conference and almost 28 points below the next lowest school, Long Beach State (68.10).

The majority of UH's 21 teams compete in the Big West.

Football competes in the Mountain West Conference, where UH's overall 40.13 figure ranked ninth among 12 schools.

For purposes of the study, subsidies were defined as everything not generated by the department's athletic functions, including students fees, direct and indirect institutional support and state money. In that criteria, UH's subsidy was listed at $14.8 million on total revenue of $37 million and expenses of $40.3 million

Sports Subsidies

(Percentage of subsidies for Big West Conference members)

No. School %

1. UC Riverside 88.88

2. Cal State Northridge 87.17

3. UC Santa Barbara 83.60

4. UC Irvine 80.80

5. UC Davis  78.56

6. Fullerton 77.48

7. Cal Poly 75.99

8. Long Beach State 68.10

9. Hawaii 40.13

Source: Study by USA Today and Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center.

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UH subsidized least in Big West

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CriticalReader wrote:
What are the actual dollar figures received as subsidies for those schools. Seems like one big problem UH has is that it has cadillac tastes and budget. What, for instance, is UC RIversides TOTAL BUDGET and TOTAL SUBSIDIES. 88.8% subsidy of a $10 million budget, for instance, would change the suggested "unfairness" and "disparity" analysis substantially.
on June 5,2014 | 10:25AM
CriticalReader wrote:
Subsidies by schools discussed above, rounded: Riverside $14 million; Northridge $10 million; Santa Barbara $12 million; Irvine $12.3 million; Davis (home of Hinshaw) $22 Million; Fullerton $8.8 million; Cal Poly $15 million; Long Beach St. $10.5 Million
on June 5,2014 | 10:58AM
1local wrote:
Shut the sports programs down. Focus on Academics.
on June 5,2014 | 01:37PM
CriticalReader wrote:
WOW, of $28 million on revenues (and expendiures of about $100K more) UC Davis derives $17,866,938 of its revenues from student fees. That's where Hinshaw and Greenwood were headed.
on June 5,2014 | 02:57PM
inverse wrote:
They don't want to give the public that information cause the sole purpose of the article is to try to prop up UH after the bad press of only having about 12,000 season tickets for football purchased. After just going online on the UC Riverside athletic website, they have ONLY the following sanctioned sports available: Mens (baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis, track & field) Womens (basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field, volleyball). Notice UC Riverside has NO football and no million dollar salary coach and assistant coaches making up to $200K. Also the teams UC Riverside have are small with the larger being baseball but there are only nine players on the field at any one time. Also I doubt they pay their golf, track, soccer or tennis coaches $1/2 million per year. Pretty clear by the sports UC Riversides fields, and WITHOUT football, their overall athletic budget is much smaller than UH. Also took 1 second to find out the UC Riverside enrollment is about 21,297 compared to UH Manoa which is about 20,429 which comparable, yet UC Riverside does NOT have to support a football team. Football is the key, it is either a major financial drag when they occupy the gutter or a major gold mine with the are consistently at the top of their conference and are able to play away bowl games and get the interest of sports channels willing to pay the school money to televise the games.
on June 5,2014 | 11:02AM
inverse wrote:
Took 5 min to calculate there about a total of 143 male players for ALL sports at UC Riverside. Garans all are not on full scholarship, some on partial, etc. Guess there would be around equal number of female players, with equal number of scholarships, etc. Doubt any of the coaches makes salaries in the range of a Div 1A football coach so when you look at UC Riversides TOTAL situation, their athletic budget is manageable to allow 88.88 in financial support. I doubt their athletic dept. runs multi-million dollar deficits each year that require taxpayers to bail them out. I also doubt UC Riverside have to deal with fools in charge who think it would be great idea to have Stevie Wonder do a fundraiser concert for their athletic department and then with zero due diligence, wire cash to Florida with absolutely no way to account for the money if something should go wrong.
on June 5,2014 | 11:23AM
csdhawaii wrote:
Because Ferd is part of the Manoa Athletics propaganda machine.
on June 5,2014 | 01:38PM
AhiPoke wrote:
Are you kidding me? You actually think UH is running a cadillac program? Remember this is the place that didn't even have soap in its showers. Go ahead and bash the program but the truth is, for any objective observer like this report is, UH athletics is severly underfunded but it's expected to compete and win. If you want to see evidence of this go and visit the entire campus, both athletic and non-athletic, and see for yourself how badly it's run/maintained.
on June 5,2014 | 11:32AM
CriticalReader wrote:
I don't expect UH to compete and win. The USA today study confirms what I believe, which is that UH can't compete or win - at least in football. The upper echelon programs are easily exceeding $100 million in revenues (Texas at a high of $165 million), and it seems like the vast majority of the top 50 are taking in and spending in excess of $60 million per year. And, most of those schools are already way ahead of a school in terms of the facilities arms race, conference affiliations, alumni support, etc. So, no, I don't expect UH to compete and win. Which is why I questions why UH keeps on begging for money, and promising better, when there appears to be no likelihood of winning. To me, it's all a game to keep UH administrators employed.
on June 5,2014 | 12:19PM
CriticalReader wrote:
If, as Mr. Lewis seems to suggest, UH sports should be subsidized to the level of, say, a UC Rverside (88.8%), then here's what the State (you and me) would pay: Chow 88.8% of $550K base? $488,400; Jay 88.8% of $293K base? $260,184; Arnold 88.8% of $344,000 base? $305,472; Trapasso 88.8% of $175,000 base? $153,400; Beeman 88.8% of $125,000 base? $111,000. The sports nuts are very generous with our money.
on June 5,2014 | 12:44PM
false wrote:
It begins at the top, regents, presidents, etc.
on June 5,2014 | 03:17PM
Oahuan wrote:
Whoever made these deals with the MWC and BWC should be lynched and hanged. Way to kill our athletic programs dufus!
on June 5,2014 | 10:30AM
PCWarrior wrote:
Calm down ain't nobody need to die over this. Sheesh.
on June 5,2014 | 11:04AM
CriticalReader wrote:
Here are the subsidy percentages for the MWC: Air Force: 65%; Boise: 26%; san Jose St.: 67%; Fresno St. 39%; Nevada 41%; SDSU 45%; UNLV 56%; New Mexico 34%; Utah St. 58%; Wyoming 54%; Colorado St. 52%.
on June 5,2014 | 11:05AM
AhiPoke wrote:
The lower % of subsidies reflect the fact that these are football playing schools unlike the Big West. However, it still shows that UH receives amongst the lowest subsidies. I'm guessing that if UH were to be even at the average for the Big West/Mountain West combined they'd not only be better off financially but they'd be able to produce a better product on the field/court and we'd have happier fans. Will it happen? I'm guessing unlikely as our state has big financial problems and there's little political will/support.
on June 5,2014 | 11:38AM
CriticalReader wrote:
Contrary, however, to the rantings of people like Bobby Curran, UH is well within shouting distance, if not in the middle of the pack in terms of subsidy. It's 8th in subsidy amount at 14.8 (above Boise 11.5m, Fresno 13m, Utah St. 13.7m, and Nevada 10 m) (below New Mexico 15.3m, Wyoming 15.8m, Colorado St. 18m, San Diego St. 17.6m, UNLV 36m, and Air Force 25.5m) It's 5th in expenditures, but sixth in revenues. Hard to figure out how the "subsidy" amounts figure into total revenues. BUT, UH is listed as having the second highest negative revenue to expense difference at $3.4m. SDSU is first with a $3.5m negative.
on June 5,2014 | 01:09PM
kauai wrote:
Any of these other institutions have to pay the travel expenses of visiting teams (like UH has to do as a condition of their/our entry into the Mountain West Conference)? Who signed off on that deal? Are those travel expenses taken into account for the purposes of this survey?
on June 5,2014 | 10:50AM
CriticalReader wrote:
There's something else. It was regularly reported that UH's budget was in the 30-33 million dollar range. The USA Today study says $40 million in expenditures and $37.5 in revenues. Problem A is that UHAD is apparently a $40 million operation (with 89% of its expenses going to salaries and athlete costs???). Problem B? Why is UH under-reporting expenditures?
on June 5,2014 | 12:02PM
CriticalReader wrote:
Missing from the USA today calculations, and un-mentioned by Mr. Lewis, is the $13 million debt forgiveness that occurred this year. Does this mean that next year, UH will be on top of the heap (We're Number 1!, We're Number 1!) with respect to subsidy?
on June 5,2014 | 01:39PM
hon2255 wrote:
This is Pathetic, come on UH ,get with the program, wake up citizens, we need to support our programs.legislators, Mr Takai -Rainbow , step up to the plate and get your alma mater some money we taxpayers been shelling out in sales taxes, income taxes, gas taxes, etc etc, President Lassner step up and speak up!
on June 5,2014 | 09:36PM