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TNR: UC's Four Year Athletic Defecit $102M
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CliftonAve Offline
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TNR: UC's Four Year Athletic Defecit $102M
http://www.newsrecord.org/news/soaring-s...06336.html

In February 2014, then-University of Cincinnati President Santa Ono announced that he had chosen Mike Bohn as the school’s new athletic director.

“To recruit a leader of Mike’s caliber and national standing only reaffirms the strength, promise and pride of UC Athletics,” Ono said during Bohn’s introductory news conference.

Bohn was awarded a five-year contract. In 2015, Ono extended his contract through 2021, prompting the UC athletic director to promise a “seismic transformation” within the program.

“We want national respect and the ability to play on the biggest stage possible,” Bohn told Fox19 in October 2015. “It’s really fun to be a part of. I feel like this is our time.”

While the UC Athletic Department has experienced a profound transformation under Bohn, it is not the one he intended. Deficits have soared and students are paying the price.

Between 2014 and 2017, the athletic department’s deficit totaled almost $102 million — a 33 percent increase over the prior four years, records show.

UC officials have covered the deficit with student fees and money from the school’s general fund, which is primarily funded by student tuition. For a full-time undergraduate student, the four-year price tag to cover the athletic department’s deficit was almost $4,900, records show.

Several students were surprised to learn UC officials have been quietly forcing them to pay thousands of dollars each to subsidize the athletic department.

“I’m obviously not happy about it,” fourth-year social work student Drew Jennings said.

Before coming to UC’s uptown campus this year, Jennings had previously attended UC’s Blue Ash location where he was the 2016-17 Most Outstanding Student in Social Work.

“That money could — and should — be allocated towards things that would be useful for the student body as a whole,” Jennings said. “The deficit isn’t our fault. I would still attend this great university if they did tell us about it, but it just makes it even more shady on their part that they don’t let us know at all.”

David Ridpath, associate professor of sports administration at Ohio University, said students at most schools are unaware that their pockets are being emptied by the athletic department.

“You look at schools that aren’t in the Power Five conferences, [including] Cincinnati,” he said. “These are schools that are obviously heavily subsidized by student fees and their institutional subsidies.”

Ridpath said the fee isn’t the problem; rather, the lack of transparency with students poses issues.

“I think that paying a student fee for athletics is not inherently wrong in a sense that we are all a part of a community,” said Ridpath, who recently completed a research study on student perceptions of the athletic fee in the Mid-American Conference — one of the most highly-subsidized Division I conferences in the NCAA. “My issue is the amount, and the fact that students don’t have a real voice in this at many institutions, and not many know about it.”

The News Record attempted on numerous occasions over six weeks to schedule an interview with Bohn through a UC Athletic Department representative. Despite their assurances that a meeting with Bohn was forthcoming, they were unable to arrange the interview.

“It’s an investment, and it’s an investment in the enterprise on campus,” Bohn said of athletic subsidies in a 2015 interview with CityBeat. “It’s a strategic investment with a high return.”

He said he hoped to decrease the deficit.

“Our current strategy on our budget is to continue to generate as much revenue as we can externally,” Bohn said.

Since 2015, the athletic department’s deficit has increased by more than $3.5 million, and each student paid $123 more in 2017 than they did in 2015. Bohn did not see the decrease he said he had hoped for.

Bohn stated that a successful athletic department serves as an attractive “front porch” for UC, boosting applications from prospective students and contributions from donors.

Jimmy Dirr, a fourth-year accounting student at UC, said he wonders where the money comprising the deficit is going.

“It's unfair to students who don’t go to these sporting events,” Dirr said. “Half of this money is probably going towards luxury items that athletes don’t necessarily need, such as alternate uniforms and warmups.”

The department’s total expenses for 2017 were $62.8 million, meaning student subsidies covered nearly 43 percent of their expenses, records show.

So, how is the department spending their money?

The head coaches of the football and men’s basketball teams and their 16 assistants received a shared total of $8.76 million in 2017 — an average of $486,674 each, according to UC’s NCAA Revenue and Expense report. By comparison, the university’s 381 student-athletes received scholarships totaling $9.31 million — roughly $24,442 per athlete.

“Coaches are being paid in an artificial market because we aren’t paying in labor,” Ridpath said. “You’re paying coaches who would be able to do this for a lot less. I just have an issue with somebody who is coaching and making more than the university president. John Wooden at UCLA couldn’t make more than the highest paid professor … I do think that money to the coaches should be used for the athletes and more important things.”

During his 12-year period as head basketball coach at UCLA, Wooden won 10 national championships.

UC’s athletic department spent $2.1 million in severance payments in 2017. Approximately 90 percent of payments went toward one person — former UC head football coach Tommy Tuberville.

In October 2016, Tuberville signed a two-year contract extension with a $2.4 million buyout — more than double the buyout under his original contract, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. Less than two months later, Tuberville and UC parted ways.

In the end, the university paid Tuberville $1.9 million — over $900,000 more than payments owed in his original contract.

“It’s ridiculous,” fourth-year construction management student Ryan Burch said. “After the position Tuberville left the program in, he shouldn’t have gotten much of a buyout at all.”

Cincinnati finished 4-8 in Tuberville’s final season as head coach.

Conversely, second-year design student Jamie Cole understands the athletic department’s need for the money, but wishes it was lower than the current annually-charged amount.

“I struggle to make $1,500 a semester,” Cole said. “UC tried to join the Big 12 [Conference]. If we would have got into that, it definitely would have helped us out in the long run. I’d be all right with them taking money as long as it was under $1,000 and came with even more sports-related benefits [for] students — something that lets the athletic department show their appreciation.”

The former treasurer for UC’s College Republicans, Burch blames the administration for students’ lack of awareness about their contributions to the athletic department. He also questions how the money has benefited UC teams.

“It’s not showing in [their] performance on the field,” Burch said.

Covering deficits with student funds is not unique to UC. When comparing athletic department student payments to other schools within the American Athletic Conference (AAC), Cincinnati students are near the top.

The News Record collected financial reports from every public university in the AAC except for the University of Memphis, due to Tennessee’s public records laws. Records show that Cincinnati students contribute the second-highest proportion in the AAC — trailing only students from the University of Connecticut.


In 2017, the University of Central Florida received $4.2 million from the university to cover their deficit, but only $109 came out of each student’s wallet. By comparison, UC students paid more than $1,200 that year.

Despite steady growth in athletic subsidies, it does not look like the fees will slow down anytime soon, according to Ridpath.

“We estimated athletic fees were rising 13 percent faster than the growth of tuition,” Ridpath said.
 
04-04-2018 11:34 AM
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RE: TNR: UC's Four Year Athletic Defecit $102M
C'mon, Clifton, quit using facts to break up the AAC and Bohn love fest.
 
04-04-2018 11:42 AM
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Bearcat 1985 Offline
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RE: TNR: UC's Four Year Athletic Defecit $102M
At some point, we're going to have to realize that Ono and Bohn made a huge gamble to get us into the P5 and came up craps. They bet $100M and lost. While Ono can't be fired (and I've always maintained that he ran away before all his phony promises were exposed), the university can certainly take an honest, hard look at the mistakes and not continue to go down that same path.

Imagine if we'd pumped $100M into the cancer hospital. I'd bet we'd be a lot closer to that Comprehensive Cancer Center designation than hoping some fairy tale Flutie Effect might happen.

Imagine if we'd pumped $100M into merit aid. I'd bet we'd be a lot closer to rising selectivity to Miami's level than waiting for the Flutie Effect to do it.

Imagine if we'd pumped $100M into the underachieving departments at UC. I'd bet we'd be a lot closer to an AAU invite than on waiting for athletics to have some magic effect in that regard.
 
04-04-2018 11:56 AM
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RE: TNR: UC's Four Year Athletic Defecit $102M
(04-04-2018 11:56 AM)Bearcat 1985 Wrote:  At some point, we're going to have to realize that Ono and Bohn made a huge gamble to get us into the P5 and came up craps. They bet $100M and lost. While Ono can't be fired (and I've always maintained that he ran away before all his phony promises were exposed), the university can certainly take an honest, hard look at the mistakes and not continue to go down that same path.

Imagine if we'd pumped $100M into the cancer hospital. I'd bet we'd be a lot closer to that Comprehensive Cancer Center designation than hoping some fairy tale Flutie Effect might happen.

Imagine if we'd pumped $100M into merit aid. I'd bet we'd be a lot closer to rising selectivity to Miami's level than waiting for the Flutie Effect to do it.

Imagine if we'd pumped $100M into the underachieving departments at UC. I'd bet we'd be a lot closer to an AAU invite than on waiting for athletics to have some magic effect in that regard.

Merit aid has absolutely no bearing on selectivity and the mystical AAU invite has nothing to do with what departments are, and are not excelling, but I completely agree with your sentiment. Athletics were the catalyst for recent University growth, but it is financially irresponsible to keep something afloat at the rate that they do (along with most every other institution in America).

With that being said, the economics of this isn't simple substitution...Universities would not be charging fee increases like this if athletics simply weren't around, so the $100M isn't a number that could just be lumped to another department. If it were, people would be complaining about it anyways.

Take my current institution for instance, we charged an additional $100 on lab fees for students in order to modernize our technological infrastructure (higher speed wireless internet in the engineering facilities, improved software licensing, every computer in the college has been upgraded in the last two years, we now have two full-dive 3D simulation spaces that every student can reserve and utilize), but people still complain. If we didn't charge that fee and technology was not improving, people would still complain.
 
04-04-2018 12:12 PM
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RE: TNR: UC's Four Year Athletic Defecit $102M
(04-04-2018 12:12 PM)BearcatMan Wrote:  
(04-04-2018 11:56 AM)Bearcat 1985 Wrote:  At some point, we're going to have to realize that Ono and Bohn made a huge gamble to get us into the P5 and came up craps. They bet $100M and lost. While Ono can't be fired (and I've always maintained that he ran away before all his phony promises were exposed), the university can certainly take an honest, hard look at the mistakes and not continue to go down that same path.

Imagine if we'd pumped $100M into the cancer hospital. I'd bet we'd be a lot closer to that Comprehensive Cancer Center designation than hoping some fairy tale Flutie Effect might happen.

Imagine if we'd pumped $100M into merit aid. I'd bet we'd be a lot closer to rising selectivity to Miami's level than waiting for the Flutie Effect to do it.

Imagine if we'd pumped $100M into the underachieving departments at UC. I'd bet we'd be a lot closer to an AAU invite than on waiting for athletics to have some magic effect in that regard.

Merit aid has absolutely no bearing on selectivity and the mystical AAU invite has nothing to do with what departments are, and are not excelling, but I completely agree with your sentiment. Athletics were the catalyst for recent University growth, but it is financially irresponsible to keep something afloat at the rate that they do (along with most every other institution in America).

With that being said, the economics of this isn't simple substitution...Universities would not be charging fee increases like this if athletics simply weren't around, so the $100M isn't a number that could just be lumped to another department. If it were, people would be complaining about it anyways.

Take my current institution for instance, we charged an additional $100 on lab fees for students in order to modernize our technological infrastructure (higher speed wireless internet in the engineering facilities, improved software licensing, every computer in the college has been upgraded in the last two years, we now have two full-dive 3D simulation spaces that every student can reserve and utilize), but people still complain. If we didn't charge that fee and technology was not improving, people would still complain.

A couple of thoughts. The overall strength of the university is absolutely important to the AAU. They are constantly reinforcing the message to existing members to not neglect the arts & sciences in exchange for chasing more research dollars. Being viewed as too one-dimensional kept Ga Tech out for decades despite their excellence in engineering. Right now, UC does well on a lot (but not all) of the hard metrics. The softer metrics are what's keeping UC out as much as the hard metrics where we come up short. UC has an AAU quality medical school, a marginally AAU quality engineering college but is very weak by AAU standards in the core arts and sciences doctoral programs. Until that changes, we're not getting in.

How do you think merit aid doesn't aid selectivity? If OSU and Miami are going to give a 30+ ACT student three times as much scholarship money as UC, you don't think that makes it infinitely harder for UC to attract that kid to Clifton? OSU understands (though I'm not sure Miami does all that well) that as demographic trends make student recruitment more difficult, the issue of affordability will take on more and more importance in how competitive a university can be for high achieving applicants.

I think athletic subsidies and student fees are more fungible than you let on. Simply get rid of the fee and raise the tuition by an equal amount. There's no difference in cost to the student, and that $1200/student now has no restraints on where it will be spent. Will some people be unhappy? Absolutely right, but the university will be in a stronger position.
 
(This post was last modified: 04-04-2018 12:29 PM by Bearcat 1985.)
04-04-2018 12:27 PM
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RE: TNR: UC's Four Year Athletic Defecit $102M
Doesn't this same article come out once every year? Nothing new here. If you are in the Cartel 5, tv subsidizes the athletic dept, whether or not said dept earned the money. In the P6 or Other 5, you need to use other methods to subsidize.

There are 3 paths - more tv revenue, current structure remains in place or UC starts axing programs. Sounds like some want either fball or basketball to get the axe.
 
04-04-2018 12:31 PM
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RE: TNR: UC's Four Year Athletic Defecit $102M
(04-04-2018 12:31 PM)bearcatmill Wrote:  Doesn't this same article come out once every year? Nothing new here. If you are in the Cartel 5, tv subsidizes the athletic dept, whether or not said dept earned the money. In the P6 or Other 5, you need to use other methods to subsidize.

There are 3 paths - more tv revenue, current structure remains in place or UC starts axing programs. Sounds like some want either fball or basketball to get the axe.

I have no idea, just speculating... but does anyone have any numbers on the overall indirect revenue the football and basketball programs bring to the university? In other words, lets say we whacked football and/or basketball, how would that effect the university as a whole? Does the enrollment go down? Do donations and gifts go down? Does interest in the university go down? How does this affect general student and alumni well being as related to the university?

Its probably easy to point to sports and say, well they aren't making revenue. But some times youbbn have step back and look at the entire picture to see what they are truly bringing to the table. What are the programs bringing in revenue, and which ones are not? Are students paying for these as well?

Ultimately, the student has a choice if they want to pay the tuition, if not they have other options, if its too high and doesn't make sense for them, then why not look elsewhere. Everybody is not a victim.
 
04-04-2018 12:56 PM
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RE: TNR: UC's Four Year Athletic Defecit $102M
(04-04-2018 12:56 PM)jarr Wrote:  
(04-04-2018 12:31 PM)bearcatmill Wrote:  Doesn't this same article come out once every year? Nothing new here. If you are in the Cartel 5, tv subsidizes the athletic dept, whether or not said dept earned the money. In the P6 or Other 5, you need to use other methods to subsidize.

There are 3 paths - more tv revenue, current structure remains in place or UC starts axing programs. Sounds like some want either fball or basketball to get the axe.

I have no idea, just speculating... but does anyone have any numbers on the overall indirect revenue the football and basketball programs bring to the university? In other words, lets say we whacked football and/or basketball, how would that effect the university as a whole? Does the enrollment go down? Do donations and gifts go down? Does interest in the university go down? How does this affect general student and alumni well being as related to the university?

Its probably easy to point to sports and say, well they aren't making revenue. But some times youbbn have step back and look at the entire picture to see what they are truly bringing to the table. What are the programs bringing in revenue, and which ones are not? Are students paying for these as well?

Ultimately, the student has a choice if they want to pay the tuition, if not they have other options, if its too high and doesn't make sense for them, then why not look elsewhere. Everybody is not a victim.

I've always wondered the same thing. Football is the usual whipping boy in this discussion (usually spurred on by all the Ohio State fans in our alumni and media base). Wichita State whacked their football program in 1986. Is tuition and student fees at Wichita State cheap as hell? Wright State and Cleveland State don't have football and their university and athletic departments are in an economic crisis (https://www.daytondailynews.com/news/wsu...vz8mi25zN/)


Edit: Doing a google search, it appears Wichita students pay $1510 in student feels, which is $300 more than UC.

http://collegefactual.com/colleges/wichi...n-and-fees
 
(This post was last modified: 04-04-2018 01:04 PM by CliftonAve.)
04-04-2018 01:02 PM
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RE: TNR: UC's Four Year Athletic Defecit $102M
If (a big if) a P5 invitation comes in the next five years, we'll praise past UC leadership for their foresight and investment in securing a better future. If not, we'll all say they squandered money chasing windmills. That's a risk inherent in decision making at that level.

A perception problem was created by Ono's cryptic tweets and public statements. His strategy of getting out of Dodge before the marshal rode in is now apparent. The mishandling of the Tensing termination prior to the due process hearing (Union and University required as I understand it) alone could have been grounds for termination, given the settlement costs incurred. Creating expectations he couldn't fulfill about a new conference affiliation didn't help his cause either.

Granted, it was prior to the age of moment to moment social media, but President Steger set the bar pretty high in terms of working behind the scenes to secure a Big East invitation before making public pronouncements. I believe our current leadership at UC will keep their cards close to the vest and if the opportunity comes along for a P5 invitation I almost hope it's announced before any of us on this board know anything. The Big 12 beauty contest was a major embarrassment for all parties.

Is this athletic budget sustainable? Probably not under current assumptions. Much depends on whether the AAC can leverage strong TV ratings in the next contract. Stay tuned as they say...
 
04-04-2018 01:08 PM
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RE: TNR: UC's Four Year Athletic Defecit $102M
(04-04-2018 12:31 PM)bearcatmill Wrote:  Doesn't this same article come out once every year? Nothing new here. If you are in the Cartel 5, tv subsidizes the athletic dept, whether or not said dept earned the money. In the P6 or Other 5, you need to use other methods to subsidize.

There are 3 paths - more tv revenue, current structure remains in place or UC starts axing programs. Sounds like some want either fball or basketball to get the axe.

The difference for the P5 is that they are using outside entities to fund their athletic departments. For the G5, it's being done either from siphoning money directly from the academic side of the university or on the backs of students, many of whom would be dealing with affordability issues without the extra 1200 bill. Two completely different things.

I think we're very quickly coming to a point in this country where state legislators start to put a cap on how much of an AD's budget can come from subsidies and student fees. Virginia has already done it.
 
04-04-2018 01:09 PM
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RE: TNR: UC's Four Year Athletic Defecit $102M
(04-04-2018 12:27 PM)Bearcat 1985 Wrote:  
(04-04-2018 12:12 PM)BearcatMan Wrote:  
(04-04-2018 11:56 AM)Bearcat 1985 Wrote:  At some point, we're going to have to realize that Ono and Bohn made a huge gamble to get us into the P5 and came up craps. They bet $100M and lost. While Ono can't be fired (and I've always maintained that he ran away before all his phony promises were exposed), the university can certainly take an honest, hard look at the mistakes and not continue to go down that same path.

Imagine if we'd pumped $100M into the cancer hospital. I'd bet we'd be a lot closer to that Comprehensive Cancer Center designation than hoping some fairy tale Flutie Effect might happen.

Imagine if we'd pumped $100M into merit aid. I'd bet we'd be a lot closer to rising selectivity to Miami's level than waiting for the Flutie Effect to do it.

Imagine if we'd pumped $100M into the underachieving departments at UC. I'd bet we'd be a lot closer to an AAU invite than on waiting for athletics to have some magic effect in that regard.

Merit aid has absolutely no bearing on selectivity and the mystical AAU invite has nothing to do with what departments are, and are not excelling, but I completely agree with your sentiment. Athletics were the catalyst for recent University growth, but it is financially irresponsible to keep something afloat at the rate that they do (along with most every other institution in America).

With that being said, the economics of this isn't simple substitution...Universities would not be charging fee increases like this if athletics simply weren't around, so the $100M isn't a number that could just be lumped to another department. If it were, people would be complaining about it anyways.

Take my current institution for instance, we charged an additional $100 on lab fees for students in order to modernize our technological infrastructure (higher speed wireless internet in the engineering facilities, improved software licensing, every computer in the college has been upgraded in the last two years, we now have two full-dive 3D simulation spaces that every student can reserve and utilize), but people still complain. If we didn't charge that fee and technology was not improving, people would still complain.

A couple of thoughts. The overall strength of the university is absolutely important to the AAU. They are constantly reinforcing the message to existing members to not neglect the arts & sciences in exchange for chasing more research dollars. Being viewed as too one-dimensional kept Ga Tech out for decades despite their excellence in engineering. Right now, UC does well on a lot (but not all) of the hard metrics. The softer metrics are what's keeping UC out as much as the hard metrics where we come up short. UC has an AAU quality medical school, a marginally AAU quality engineering college but is very weak by AAU standards in the core arts and sciences doctoral programs. Until that changes, we're not getting in.

How do you think merit aid doesn't aid selectivity? If OSU and Miami are going to give a 30+ ACT student three times as much scholarship money as UC, you don't think that makes it infinitely harder for UC to attract that kid to Clifton? OSU understands (though I'm not sure Miami does all that well) that as demographic trends make student recruitment more difficult, the issue of affordability will take on more and more importance in how competitive a university can be for high achieving applicants.

I think athletic subsidies and student fees are more fungible than you let on. Simply get rid of the fee and raise the tuition by an equal amount. There's no difference in cost to the student, and that $1200/student now has no restraints on where it will be spent. Will some people be unhappy? Absolutely right, but the university will be in a stronger position.

You may want to look at their aid structures before you claim that. Having worked in admissions for nearly 10 years, I can tell you that merit aid does not impact selectivity nearly as much as a University's mission and their program strengths.

Also, the schools with the highest discount rate in the state of Ohio are the University of Toledo and the University of Akron...which are also at or near the bottom in selectivity. You can buy a whole hell of a lot of students, but at the end of the day, program strength tends to win out for those students, and UC is extremely strong in the in-demand areas for most practical-gifted students (Engineering, Business, Medical Sciences).
 
04-04-2018 01:12 PM
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RE: TNR: UC's Four Year Athletic Defecit $102M
(04-04-2018 01:12 PM)BearcatMan Wrote:  
(04-04-2018 12:27 PM)Bearcat 1985 Wrote:  
(04-04-2018 12:12 PM)BearcatMan Wrote:  
(04-04-2018 11:56 AM)Bearcat 1985 Wrote:  At some point, we're going to have to realize that Ono and Bohn made a huge gamble to get us into the P5 and came up craps. They bet $100M and lost. While Ono can't be fired (and I've always maintained that he ran away before all his phony promises were exposed), the university can certainly take an honest, hard look at the mistakes and not continue to go down that same path.

Imagine if we'd pumped $100M into the cancer hospital. I'd bet we'd be a lot closer to that Comprehensive Cancer Center designation than hoping some fairy tale Flutie Effect might happen.

Imagine if we'd pumped $100M into merit aid. I'd bet we'd be a lot closer to rising selectivity to Miami's level than waiting for the Flutie Effect to do it.

Imagine if we'd pumped $100M into the underachieving departments at UC. I'd bet we'd be a lot closer to an AAU invite than on waiting for athletics to have some magic effect in that regard.

Merit aid has absolutely no bearing on selectivity and the mystical AAU invite has nothing to do with what departments are, and are not excelling, but I completely agree with your sentiment. Athletics were the catalyst for recent University growth, but it is financially irresponsible to keep something afloat at the rate that they do (along with most every other institution in America).

With that being said, the economics of this isn't simple substitution...Universities would not be charging fee increases like this if athletics simply weren't around, so the $100M isn't a number that could just be lumped to another department. If it were, people would be complaining about it anyways.

Take my current institution for instance, we charged an additional $100 on lab fees for students in order to modernize our technological infrastructure (higher speed wireless internet in the engineering facilities, improved software licensing, every computer in the college has been upgraded in the last two years, we now have two full-dive 3D simulation spaces that every student can reserve and utilize), but people still complain. If we didn't charge that fee and technology was not improving, people would still complain.

A couple of thoughts. The overall strength of the university is absolutely important to the AAU. They are constantly reinforcing the message to existing members to not neglect the arts & sciences in exchange for chasing more research dollars. Being viewed as too one-dimensional kept Ga Tech out for decades despite their excellence in engineering. Right now, UC does well on a lot (but not all) of the hard metrics. The softer metrics are what's keeping UC out as much as the hard metrics where we come up short. UC has an AAU quality medical school, a marginally AAU quality engineering college but is very weak by AAU standards in the core arts and sciences doctoral programs. Until that changes, we're not getting in.

How do you think merit aid doesn't aid selectivity? If OSU and Miami are going to give a 30+ ACT student three times as much scholarship money as UC, you don't think that makes it infinitely harder for UC to attract that kid to Clifton? OSU understands (though I'm not sure Miami does all that well) that as demographic trends make student recruitment more difficult, the issue of affordability will take on more and more importance in how competitive a university can be for high achieving applicants.

I think athletic subsidies and student fees are more fungible than you let on. Simply get rid of the fee and raise the tuition by an equal amount. There's no difference in cost to the student, and that $1200/student now has no restraints on where it will be spent. Will some people be unhappy? Absolutely right, but the university will be in a stronger position.

You may want to look at their aid structures before you claim that. Having worked in admissions for nearly 10 years, I can tell you that merit aid does not impact selectivity nearly as much as a University's mission and their program strengths.

Also, the schools with the highest discount rate in the state of Ohio are the University of Toledo and the University of Akron...which are also at or near the bottom in selectivity. You can buy a whole hell of a lot of students, but at the end of the day, program strength tends to win out for those students, and UC is extremely strong in the in-demand areas for most practical-gifted students (Engineering, Business, Medical Sciences).

I get what you're saying, and I'd qualify my statement to say that merit aid is an important factor in the competition between like universities. Toledo isn't luring students away from OSU even if they make it a few thousand dollars cheaper. But could Miami? Or Case? If UC wants to maintain the admissions profile gains that have already been made, if not build upon them, in a challenging demographic situation, it'll require money. Perhaps now, it's to lure kids away from OU or UK rather than OSU. In the future, and in the context of other improvements within the university, who knows.
 
04-04-2018 01:16 PM
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RE: TNR: UC's Four Year Athletic Defecit $102M
As long as students know how much they are being charged to support athletics so be it.
 
04-04-2018 01:21 PM
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Post: #14
RE: TNR: UC's Four Year Athletic Defecit $102M
(04-04-2018 01:16 PM)Bearcat 1985 Wrote:  I get what you're saying, and I'd qualify my statement to say that merit aid is an important factor in the competition between like universities. Toledo isn't luring students away from OSU even if they make it a few thousand dollars cheaper. But could Miami? Or Case? If UC wants to maintain the admissions profile gains that have already been made, if not build upon them, in a challenging demographic situation, it'll require money. Perhaps now, it's to lure kids away from OU or UK rather than OSU. In the future, and in the context of other improvements within the university, who knows.

Yeah, it's a very dynamic situation with regard to aid/admissions and with regard to how it impacts admission to like Universities. Recent data (I'll try to find the RNL study and if there's a web link to it) suggests that aid isn't as significant of a factor in college choice for upper level students as it once was, since most expect loans to come along with their choice (sadly) and many expect higher level incomes because they're going to more practical majors. Essentially, higher performing students are going to occupational/practical degrees rather than theoretical ones (engineering/medical/business vs. liberal students and hard sciences), and can stomach more loan amounts due to the economics of their own degrees vs. the previous generation due in large part to the conversation about college shifting from "get a degree and you'll be successful" to "you need to get a degree that will actually get you a job" which is also why your smaller/private institutions are seeing significant declines in enrollment even when factoring in the decline in number of domestic college students. It is still a factor, but it is nowhere near what it used to be in determining a final destination for most higher performing students.

With the change in most higher-order ranking criteria (non USNWR), higher quality students aren't entirely necessary to improve rankings/perception. If that excess funding were funneled into faculty recruitment or student research generation, then I would agree that it would make a significant difference, but again, UC, just like any other institution, wouldn't be charging the money if they didn't have Athletics to ask for it. Athletics is such a huge line-item in institutional budgets that if it was removed, there would be a significant uptick in near all departmental budgets simply from the ripple effect...but, schools without athletics tend to not do well overall (outside of historically known Universities) drawing students in.
 
(This post was last modified: 04-04-2018 01:37 PM by BearcatMan.)
04-04-2018 01:31 PM
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Def Berkkat Offline
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RE: TNR: UC's Four Year Athletic Defecit $102M
(04-04-2018 12:31 PM)bearcatmill Wrote:  Doesn't this same article come out once every year? Nothing new here. If you are in the Cartel 5, tv subsidizes the athletic dept, whether or not said dept earned the money. In the P6 or Other 5, you need to use other methods to subsidize.

There are 3 paths - more tv revenue, current structure remains in place or UC starts axing programs. Sounds like some want either fball or basketball to get the axe.

If only we'd have made it to the third round of the tournament none of this would be happening.
 
04-04-2018 01:34 PM
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Post: #16
RE: TNR: UC's Four Year Athletic Defecit $102M
(04-04-2018 01:31 PM)BearcatMan Wrote:  
(04-04-2018 01:16 PM)Bearcat 1985 Wrote:  I get what you're saying, and I'd qualify my statement to say that merit aid is an important factor in the competition between like universities. Toledo isn't luring students away from OSU even if they make it a few thousand dollars cheaper. But could Miami? Or Case? If UC wants to maintain the admissions profile gains that have already been made, if not build upon them, in a challenging demographic situation, it'll require money. Perhaps now, it's to lure kids away from OU or UK rather than OSU. In the future, and in the context of other improvements within the university, who knows.

Yeah, it's a very dynamic situation with regard to aid/admissions and with regard to how it impacts admission to like Universities. Recent data (I'll try to find the RNL study and if there's a web link to it) suggests that aid isn't as significant of a factor in college choice for upper level students as it once was, since most expect loans to come along with their choice (sadly) and many expect higher level incomes because they're going to more practical majors. Essentially, higher performing students are going to occupational/practical degrees rather than theoretical ones (engineering/medical/business vs. liberal students and hard sciences), and can stomach more loan amounts due to the economics of their own degrees vs. the previous generation due in large part to the conversation about college shifting from "get a degree and you'll be successful" to "you need to get a degree that will actually get you a job" which is also why your smaller/private institutions are seeing significant declines in enrollment even when factoring in the decline in number of domestic college students. It is still a factor, but it is nowhere near what it used to be in determining a final destination for most higher performing students.

With the change in most higher-order ranking criteria (non USNWR), higher quality students aren't entirely necessary to improve rankings/perception. If that excess funding were funneled into faculty recruitment or student research generation, then I would agree that it would make a significant difference, but again, UC, just like any other institution, wouldn't be charging the money if they didn't have Athletics to ask for it. Athletics is such a huge line-item in institutional budgets that if it was removed, there would be a significant uptick in near all departmental budgets simply from the ripple effect...but, schools without athletics tend to not do well overall (outside of historically known Universities) drawing students in.

Look at U of Alabama. While never previously anyone's idea of an academic powerhouse, it is pulling in high-ACT students from all over the U.S.A. based on almost-free tuition for ACT scores of 33+. My kid just refuses to travel that far for college, and UC was his first choice, but was quickly crossed-off his list when he saw how paltry the merit aid was (even less than Ohio State, which is known for stingy merit aid). Looks like he'll be matriculating at Miami.
 
04-04-2018 02:06 PM
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BearcatMan Online
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Post: #17
RE: TNR: UC's Four Year Athletic Defecit $102M
(04-04-2018 02:06 PM)Former Lurker Wrote:  
(04-04-2018 01:31 PM)BearcatMan Wrote:  
(04-04-2018 01:16 PM)Bearcat 1985 Wrote:  I get what you're saying, and I'd qualify my statement to say that merit aid is an important factor in the competition between like universities. Toledo isn't luring students away from OSU even if they make it a few thousand dollars cheaper. But could Miami? Or Case? If UC wants to maintain the admissions profile gains that have already been made, if not build upon them, in a challenging demographic situation, it'll require money. Perhaps now, it's to lure kids away from OU or UK rather than OSU. In the future, and in the context of other improvements within the university, who knows.

Yeah, it's a very dynamic situation with regard to aid/admissions and with regard to how it impacts admission to like Universities. Recent data (I'll try to find the RNL study and if there's a web link to it) suggests that aid isn't as significant of a factor in college choice for upper level students as it once was, since most expect loans to come along with their choice (sadly) and many expect higher level incomes because they're going to more practical majors. Essentially, higher performing students are going to occupational/practical degrees rather than theoretical ones (engineering/medical/business vs. liberal students and hard sciences), and can stomach more loan amounts due to the economics of their own degrees vs. the previous generation due in large part to the conversation about college shifting from "get a degree and you'll be successful" to "you need to get a degree that will actually get you a job" which is also why your smaller/private institutions are seeing significant declines in enrollment even when factoring in the decline in number of domestic college students. It is still a factor, but it is nowhere near what it used to be in determining a final destination for most higher performing students.

With the change in most higher-order ranking criteria (non USNWR), higher quality students aren't entirely necessary to improve rankings/perception. If that excess funding were funneled into faculty recruitment or student research generation, then I would agree that it would make a significant difference, but again, UC, just like any other institution, wouldn't be charging the money if they didn't have Athletics to ask for it. Athletics is such a huge line-item in institutional budgets that if it was removed, there would be a significant uptick in near all departmental budgets simply from the ripple effect...but, schools without athletics tend to not do well overall (outside of historically known Universities) drawing students in.

Look at U of Alabama. While never previously anyone's idea of an academic powerhouse, it is pulling in high-ACT students from all over the U.S.A. based on almost-free tuition for ACT scores of 33+. My kid just refuses to travel that far for college, and UC was his first choice, but was quickly crossed-off his list when he saw how paltry the merit aid was (even less than Ohio State, which is known for stingy merit aid). Looks like he'll be matriculating at Miami.

If you polled those students (as many have done recently, both internally and externally), I would venture a guess that most wouldn't list financial aid as their primary reason for attending.

More to the point...as with every other similar institution who has done the same (locally, Ohio State with the Maximus Scholarship and Cincinnati with the Cincinnatus in years past), they'll start to hit a funding wall as well. Recruitment on a basis of discount rate is good until you start having more students that the discounted tuition can support. Essentially Alabama is a mid-2000's Cincinnati and late 90's-early 00's OSU right now when it comes to their recruitment model. Academically speaking, Alabama has hovered around the 100 mark for decades in most ranking systems (including the maligned USNWR), so it has not made much of a change there...and likely won't due to their revenue models. They'll never be in a situation like EMu, Toledo, Kent State, or Akron, where they've strapped themselves to a ticking timebomb (+50% discount rates and static admission), mainly because they'll get students to go there because of the athletics and campus life piece.
 
(This post was last modified: 04-04-2018 02:16 PM by BearcatMan.)
04-04-2018 02:13 PM
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grubs Offline
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Post: #18
RE: TNR: UC's Four Year Athletic Defecit $102M
(04-04-2018 12:56 PM)jarr Wrote:  
(04-04-2018 12:31 PM)bearcatmill Wrote:  Doesn't this same article come out once every year? Nothing new here. If you are in the Cartel 5, tv subsidizes the athletic dept, whether or not said dept earned the money. In the P6 or Other 5, you need to use other methods to subsidize.

There are 3 paths - more tv revenue, current structure remains in place or UC starts axing programs. Sounds like some want either fball or basketball to get the axe.

I have no idea, just speculating... but does anyone have any numbers on the overall indirect revenue the football and basketball programs bring to the university? In other words, lets say we whacked football and/or basketball, how would that effect the university as a whole? Does the enrollment go down? Do donations and gifts go down? Does interest in the university go down? How does this affect general student and alumni well being as related to the university?

Its probably easy to point to sports and say, well they aren't making revenue. But some times youbbn have step back and look at the entire picture to see what they are truly bringing to the table. What are the programs bringing in revenue, and which ones are not? Are students paying for these as well?

Ultimately, the student has a choice if they want to pay the tuition, if not they have other options, if its too high and doesn't make sense for them, then why not look elsewhere. Everybody is not a victim.

Rough ideas can be gained by checking the University's budget which is public information. Direct Basketball and Football revenue were budgeted at 4.9 m and 6.9 m respectively. Gifts were 4 mil, and other is 14m. On the expense side, direct Basketball and Football expenses are 6.2m and 11.2m respectively. Womens sports were 6.9 m and other men sports 3m. Other expense lines Operations of 2.4m, 5m in debt service, 17m in admin and general. How close to revenue neutral the revenue sports are is dependant on how much you figure the gifts, others revenue evaporates without those sports and how much of the expenses can be reduced without them.
In reality, you shouldn't expect that athletics be revenue neutral any more than your communication departments would be. OSU is one of the small handful that is revenue positive. The majority of even the P5 run negative budgets. Having a strong athletic department brings value to the University in more ways that are covered in the balance sheet. The marketing alone to out of state students is incredibly valuable to the university.

It's a lazy article that was written to come to the conclusion that the writer wanted. This is not to say that the University's fees shouldn't be scrutinized. UC is second highest in the state behind Miami.
 
04-04-2018 02:54 PM
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Post: #19
RE: TNR: UC's Four Year Athletic Defecit $102M
Could be worse. We could've sacrificed our entire academic model in favor of sleazy athletic directors, coaches, and backroom deals. We could have a palace of a basketball arena, a shiny new football stadium, and one of the most competitive Power5 conferences to house it all. And we could survive multiple scandles, including a federal investigation taking place on campus, to hire one of the best young coaches in the country.

But if the cost of all that is a university with an incompetent administration, embaressed student body, and potentially bankrupted city, I'm at least somewhat comfortable being stuck in our current predicament.
 
04-04-2018 03:21 PM
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Post: #20
RE: TNR: UC's Four Year Athletic Defecit $102M
(04-04-2018 03:21 PM)Cataclysmo Wrote:  Could be worse. We could've sacrificed our entire academic model in favor of sleazy athletic directors, coaches, and backroom deals. We could have a palace of a basketball arena, a shiny new football stadium, and one of the most competitive Power5 conferences to house it all. And we could survive multiple scandles, including a federal investigation taking place on campus, to hire one of the best young coaches in the country.

But if the cost of all that is a university with an incompetent administration, embaressed student body, and potentially bankrupted city, I'm at least somewhat comfortable being stuck in our current predicament.

Our city isn't bankrupt? Great news!!! Let City Council know they can build a new police station, replace the Western Hills Viaduct, revamp PNC Bank Arena...
 
(This post was last modified: 04-04-2018 03:57 PM by cpawstoney.)
04-04-2018 03:55 PM
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