Photo by McClatchy Tribune. Photo illustration by Matt Weir / The Collegian
In a time of budget cuts, increased fees, and red numbers, the Fresno State athletic department has an unexpected surplus of money.
Despite previous negative projections for the 2009-2010 budget, the athletic department is now projecting an approximate surplus of $130,000. According to Martina Buckley, the associate athletics director for business operations, there are several reasons for the unexpected surplus of money in both the 2008-09 and 2009-10 budgets.
â€œ[For the 2008-09 budget], the money received from the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) and the NCAA totaled an approximate $228,000 increase,â€ Buckley said. â€œWe also extended a contract with Learfield, which led to a $227,000 influx of revenue. There was also a non-operating savings of $264,000.â€
Buckley explained the dramatic turnaround.
â€œThe â€˜08-09 budget was $25,399,631,â€ Buckley said. â€œAs of December 2008 the projection indicated that we would finish $1.1 million in the red. Thus, we implemented a seven percent cut in each of our sport and unit budgets.â€
Just as the 2008-09 budget finished with a surplus of money, the 2009-10 budget is expected to finish with a surplus.
Buckley said the projected surplus was due to cost-cutting measures and ticket gate revenue, among other things.
â€œAll the sports, as far as I know, were required to cut their expenses a couple of times to meet the anticipated deficit,â€ Watney said in an e-mail interview.
Menâ€™s head basketball coach Steve Cleveland confirmed that cuts were made.
â€œAll of the athletic teams took a 15 percent cut in their operational budgets,â€ Cleveland said in an e-mail interview with The Collegian. â€œWe also reduced out guarantee game budget by $62,000.â€
The Fresno State athletic department, as well as Buckley, were very happy about the unexpected surplus in the 2008-09 fiscal year and the projected surplus for the â€˜09-10 year.
â€œWe were extremely satisfied that all athletic departments made the required reductions in expenses along with the additional revenues that resulted in operating surplus for the fiscal year,â€ Buckley said.
According to Buckley, the revised budget for 2009-10 has yet to be approved, but he estimates it will be approximately $23.6 million.
â€œThe â€˜08-09 surplus will be applied to our fund balance,â€ Buckley said.
Watney also has thoughts on how the money should be used.
â€œIt should probably go into a rainy day account, just in case,â€ Watney said. â€œIt would be nice to get some money back. Each sport has different needs so hopefully each coach would be asked where they would like to use the money.â€
Buckley said the budget will be made available to the public in approximately a month.
â€œThe budget will be made public once the 2008-09 financial statement is approved by the [Athletic Corporation] Board and then the university president [John Welty],â€ Buckley said.
The 2009-10 budget will also go through an approval process. According to Buckley, this should take place by the end of September or the beginning of October.