Butler University’s athletics department is on “an island of its own.”
The budget is a mystery to the public. No one from the athletics department will discuss information about this year’s budget, and officials in other departments say they don’t know much either.
Butler athletics has the right to keep budget information private since the university is a private institution.
WHAT WE DO KNOW
The U.S. Department of Education requires colleges and universities to submit an annual report about participation, staffing, revenues and expenses.
Through that report—the Equity Athletics Data Analysis—students can access Butler athletics’ 2011-12 revenue and expenses. Some information can also be found on Butler’s 990 tax form.
Butler Athletic Director Barry Collier, through Sports Information Director Jim McGrath declined an interview regarding any questions about the budget.
He deferred any budget matters to Bruce Arick, vice president of finance.
According to the EADA, Butler’s revenue and expenses for last year were $14,738,745. This was a nearly $1 million increase from 2010. The Collegian reported in February 2012 that the 2010 revenue was $13.7 million, according to the EADA.
The report submitted to the EADA for 2011-12 lists the revenues for each sport at Butler. The three Butler sports that produce the most revenue are football and men’s and women’s basketball.
According to the EADA, men’s basketball revenue was $3,924,026, women’s basketball revenue was $1,194,883 and football revenue was $648,837.
Arick said these three sports bring in the most revenue for most universities.
He said men’s and women’s basketball bring in the most money at Butler. This is in part due to the revenue generated from the NCAA tournaments being distributed to conferences and teams.
Arick said after the NCAA pays all their expenses, there are significant dollars left that are distributed back to the conferences. The biggest distributions go to the teams that participated in the tournaments. The money is allocated to those teams depending upon the number of games they played in the tournaments.
Arick said the disbursement of money is made to each team over the course of five years.
Total revenue earned from all sports except for basketball and football was $5,235,813. According to the EADA, other men’s sports made up $2,475,413 of the revenue and other women’s sports made up $2,760,400.
Carl Heck, assistant athletic director, would not discuss the revenues of each individual sport.
The university does not make a profit off its sports, according to the EADA. Butler has a revenue-net of zero on the report. This means Butler’s athletics’ expenses are the exact same as the revenue they bring in.
This is similar to other universities. Georgetown University, one of Butler’s new conference members in the Big East, has a athletics revenue of $33,536,264 and expenses totaling the same amount.
“It’s normal for a significant portion of Division I schools whether they be public or private,” Arick said.
Arick said only a little more than a third of Division I schools actually have money left over. He said large universities with big football programs are the colleges drawing a profit.
Butler athletics’ total expenses consists of recruiting, game day expenses and coaching salaries.
According to the EADA, Butler athletics spent $189,717 on recruiting for the 2011-12 schoo year. Men’s teams made up $112,416 of the recruiting expenses, and women’s teams made up $77,301 of the recruiting expenses.
According to the EADA, Butler has the lowest recruiting expenses compared to its new conference members in the Big East. Marquette University has the largest recruiting expenses with $1,193,227, followed by Georgetown with $732,241.
The member with the closest recruiting expenses to Butler’s is Creighton University with $262,145.
Heck would not comment on Butler’s recruiting expenses.
According to the EADA, game day expenses are only $1,900,007 of Butler’s total athletic expenses.
The EADA reported that men’s basketball made up $617,107 and women’s basketball made up $175,878 of the total game day expenses. Football made up $205,524 of the game day expenses—or about 13 percent of the total expenses.
The rest of the sports offered at Butler made up $901,498 of game day expenses.
The EADA reported Butler’s average salary for head coaches of men’s teams was $197,683 in 2011-12. The average salary for head coaches of women’s teams was $44,763.
According to the EADA, the total amount of money spent on Butler coaches for 2011-12 was $1,741,885. Butler spent $358,104 on women’s head coaches and spent $1,383,781 on men’s head coaches.
The near $1 million difference in the total for head coaching salaries is due in large part to men’s basketball coach Brad Stevens.
The Bulldogs open with the Jackrabbits on Aug. 31 and return home the following week to play against Division III Wittenberg. Two weeks later Butler hosts Ivy League school Dartmouth.
Stephens said the tough schedule should prepare them for PFL play and help them reach the FCS playoffs.
“(South Dakota State) is probably the biggest program we’ve played in the history of this program,” Stephens said. “South Dakota State and Dartmouth will definitely get us ready for those bigger schools that we would potentially play in the postseason.”
Coach Jeff Voris said reaching the playoffs is certainly a team goal, but as they did last season, the Bulldogs will be taking the season one game at a time.
“Our success last season came from the commitment and dedication of playing one-game seasons,” Voris said. “The biggest thing is to get ready for August 7 and have a good camp and attack the non-conference (schedule) one game at a time.”
The Bulldogs will spend the summer doing individual workouts with one date in mind, Voris said.
“If you worry about the playoffs and conference titles, you’re never going to reach your goals because you’ll lose focus,” Voris said. “Our focus right now is South Dakota State in August.”