The University of Nevada, Reno, athletic department is projected to make a small profit at the end of this fiscal year, a report released on Thursday, Feb. 16, showed. Conversely, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, athletic department’s report stated it is expected to rack up a $5 million deficit.
UNR’s athletic department made a $140,000 profit at the end of fiscal year 2016. They are expecting to make a similar profit at the end of fiscal year 2017, which helps decrease the deficit the athletic department has.
Athletic director Doug Knuth inherited a $3.2 million deficit when he was hired in 2013. After ending fiscal years 2013 and 2014 in the red, and with the added surplus of fiscal year 2016, the deficit remains at around $3 million.
The report states that Knuth has requested $400,000 of student fee revenue in order to help pay off this debt. Additionally, any surplus from the 2017 fiscal year will be added to help reduce the deficit.
“For the current year, football season ticket revenues did not meet projections; however, Men’s basketball is exceeding budget estimates,” said the UNR report.
The report also states that the athletic department will receive $500,000 for the Nevada vs. Wyoming football game being broadcasted on ESPN2 and more money is expected to be coming in based on donations and fundraising. They expect the money raised will offset the $800,000 cost of hiring the new football team. The football team will play Northwestern in the 2017 season, which will offer a $1.3 million buyout.
The UNLV athletic department is projecting a $4.9 million deficit at the end of fiscal year 2017. The projection has increased since the beginning of the fiscal year when they expected a $3.4 million deficit, reports the Reno-Gazette Journal.
“We understood that FY17 would be a down financially because of not having a big football payout game, and incurring costs from the transition of the basketball program and a projected decline in ticket revenue,” said UNLV’s report. “UNLV will continue to work on the athletic budget through the end of the fiscal year with the goal of decreasing the deficit as much as possible.”
The report says the UNLV athletic department hopes the football program’s ticket sales will increase to what they were only a few years ago and they will become more competitive. They are also working on finding new sources of funding.
UNLV men’s head basketball coach, Marvin Menzies, inherited a “sticky situation,” according to the RGJ. After UNLV fired head coach Dave Rice in the middle of the last basketball season, the athletic department had a hard time finding a coach that would stay and recruit.
Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard took the job after last season ended, only to return back to Texas when they offered him an increased salary. UNLV then hired New Mexico State’s head coach, Menzies, with only four returning players and a limited time to recruit.
The UNLV basketball team is 10-17 in this season’s play and is ranked second to last in the Mountain West Conference.
UNLV just recently extended their football head coach Tony Sanchez’s contract to 2021 despite the team’s lack of success in the 2016 season. They will play Ohio State in the 2017 season and receive a school-record $1.3 million.
The two programs will present their fiscal year reports to the Nevada Board of Regents on Thursday, Feb. 23.
Madeline Purdue can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @madelinepurdue.