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University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

“Underfunded” Excuses


“The weatherman but I do not broadcast/I throw up more cash and change the forecast.”
– Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr.

Last week, we began series of posts focused on quashing excuses for the football program’s inadequacy. We examined the perceived deficiencies of the Commonwealth’s high school football talent pool, and determined that although Kentucky is lacking a strong recruiting base, there are a number of programs that recruit better and win more games despite poorer in-state recruiting conditions.

This week we look to the new trend among UK football apologists: the “under funded” routine. By popular demand, I am attaching a spreadsheet of my entire findings. The sources of my data are the disclosures that each institution made in compliance with the Equity in Athletics Act. The disclosures were for FY 2010. I only aggregated data from SEC member institutions and the benchmark institutions I indentified last week.

Excuse #2: “We don’t make enough money to be a good program.” or “We can’t spend enough money to be a good program because of Olympic sports.”

FBS Spreadsheet

Far be it for me to disagree with Coach Brooks, but I was not sure that UK was signifigantly underfunded. Before I compiled this data, my question was “Are football programs that spend more per participant than Kentucky spends generally more successful on the field?” While I believe that the data is affirmative to that question, a better approach is, “Can UK Athletics actually make the financial commitments necessary to fully invest in the football program?”

This “excuse” is much more difficult to break down because the disclosures are un-itemized, so you cannot readily make side by side comparisons and match numbers with win totals. For example, Kentucky is one of only a handful of states that does not allow state institutions to bond university construction projects, so one program’s total expenses may indicate facility improvements while another program chooses to include those costs elsewhere.

This challenge reflects in the “Expense per FTE” label, which represents the funds that each institution allocated for each ‘Full Time Equivalent.’ The data makes no distinction between scholarship players and walk-ons; just lists participants.

Kentucky’s expenses per FTE are low at $13,600, but it is unclear as to what these expenses represent. The costs may indicate expenses exclusively associated with hosting games on or off campus, as Arkansas ($40,280) plays two games a season in Little Rock. However, if you look at Florida ($60,589) and Alabama ($41,194), both schools have older, on campus stadiums that were built decades ago but have experienced recent renovations, and both schools played games at neutral sites. The argument can also be made that these figures best represent critical costs associated with program growth, like neutral field contests (Not WKU), stadium renovations, practice facility upgrades, stadium suite improvements and expansions, or team equipment (sneakers, shirts, sweat suits, etc.).

However, the complete revenue and expense figures for all sports other than basketball and football are clear. I labeled these figures as “Sports Expenses” and “Sports Revenue.” These figures undermine the argument that Kentucky’s Olympic sports prevent full football investment. Several schools found ways to make Olympic sports revenue neutral, while others like Auburn (-$17M) absorbed much heavier losses. Ignore that Kentucky makes a significant investment into men’s basketball; they are hardly the only school on this list to do so and they operate basketball at a profit. I’ll dedicate a post to this as well.

For Kentucky fans, the most disparaging numbers lie in the summary. It is evident that Kentucky football is out earning many of its SEC and FBS benchmarks. It is irrelevant whether the UK Athletics Association is pursuing revenue neutrality for Olympic sports or has accepted annual losses, as Kentucky’s Olympic deficits are average for this list. I am not sure that UKAA is paying labor or bond fees on Commonwealth Stadium projects either, as UKAA effectively bonded the new video boards using a “loan” from the University. The endowment appears to be healthy, so money not readily available in the operational budget could conceivably come from there. Now, what is really preventing a full investment in football? The facts seem show that we are in a position to do so.

Article written by Tyler Montell

35 Comments for “Underfunded” Excuses

  1. [email protected]
    12:07 pm September 26, 2011 Permalink

    October 14th can’t get here soon enough. These repetitive posts about football and spending are becoming unbearable.

  2. shorthop69
    12:13 pm September 26, 2011 Permalink

    Matt Mitchell makes $600K per year.

  3. terrencejonesrighthand
    12:29 pm September 26, 2011 Permalink

    #3 yeah and how much does pat summitt make? Go cry to your football boosters, wait are there any? Or how much of your own money are you donating to the football program..none, someone else is supposed to do something, Mitch’s fault.

  4. SEC Sports
    12:30 pm September 26, 2011 Permalink

    At this point, everyone with a brain knows that UK simply refuses to put enough money into the program. We also know that Mitch has been an abysmal failure with regards to coorporate fundraising within the state. Jurich has completely owned him. That is the biggest reason UK hasn’t spent more money on football and UL has.

    Just ask Rich Brooks whom clearly stated last week that UL has without a shadow of a doubt better overall facilities in football than UK.

  5. john4uk
    12:30 pm September 26, 2011 Permalink

    Looks like some KSR readers just don’t want to know the facts.Dullards ?
    Regardless of the money spent/earned,one glaring problem is recruiting.Continually recruiting kids best suited for Eastern or UK intramural teams seems to be the norm at UK,past and present.

  6. terrencejonesrighthand
    12:34 pm September 26, 2011 Permalink

    yeah recruting is a pretty obvious issue. there isnt any instate talent, we have to get the cincinatti/ohio market. How do you think West Virgina does it..Pennsylvania/Virginia

  7. doofus
    12:48 pm September 26, 2011 Permalink

    i quit reading new bti posts…i’m sure this one is just as bad.

  8. kycatfl1
    12:56 pm September 26, 2011 Permalink

    Not enough money. Not enough emphasis. Wrong conference to be a power. Move conferences or learn to live with the same results every Fall.

  9. FinalBattleFight!
    1:07 pm September 26, 2011 Permalink

    Stick to your mission statement: “University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.”

    This is unbearable.

  10. Loublue2
    1:08 pm September 26, 2011 Permalink

    It’s complacent fools like YOU…who accept mediocrity and say there is nothing we can do to make it better. Fans like YOU deserve what you ask for…NOTHING> UK can do better , but it will not happen until Mitch AND Joker are gone. Hit the back pocket for some SEC Coach type pay and you will see what CAN happen here. It all rides on the coaching staff. Pay prime time $$$ and you get a true SEC competitve team, go cheaper and you get the likes of Joker and staff. It’s really as simple as that.

  11. Spurious
    1:14 pm September 26, 2011 Permalink

    Just curious. What does endowment have to do with football, or field hockey, for that matter? Why include such things? There is enough of the superfluous already.

  12. Justin G.
    1:17 pm September 26, 2011 Permalink

    5, UK would get recruits, if the UK admin would put their foot down and invest in the program, and in a coach that kids know (who has a history of winning). Boosters would donate more money if they knew the admin. were serious about football, for the fans are. UK has been in the Top-25 in attendance, and Top-20 in profitability for sometime now! Yet, UK has a head coach who has never been a head coach before, an OC who has been fired for being bad at it (Tennessee), and a DC who has also been let go for being bad at it!

    If UK would invest in it’s program and coach, a buzz would be created within the fan and recruiting bases, and better recruits would come, along with more fans! I mean, whose fans have been through more beat-downs then UK’s, and yet, UK’s still come back and want to see it change!

  13. mitchdoesntcare
    1:19 pm September 26, 2011 Permalink

    I mean can this post be written by the UKAA, I mean really , Mitch and minions could care less about football, you dont see jurich making excuses. This site is no more than UK’s Lip Service. Matt jones web site has become a a joke

  14. IloveUKFootball
    1:31 pm September 26, 2011 Permalink

    12. Amen brother. Its all about the money. Uk gets at least 2/3 of its gross revenues from Football. I don’t care if we win 10 BBall Championships in a row, this will remain the case. The most we can get into Rupp is what 23,000 whereas if you only half fill Commonwealth your talking 35,000. Football is were its at. All the other SEC Schools (except maybe Vandy). All big six conferences are big time football conferences, except for the Big East which is filled with broke basketball schools and on the brisk of ruin. If your going to have a BIG time athletics program your going to have BIG time football. The only reason UK has been able to maintain is because of its somehow reliable football fan base and TV Contract Revenues earned through the efforts of other SEC schools. We are lucky to be in the SEC. We need to start acting like an SEC school if we going to remain in the SEC. The NCAA is changing, what if schools like LSU and Alabama start demanding more revenues because those schools actually earn the TV revenues that Vandy and UK receive. We could end up in Louisville’s shows folks. We already are the little brother of the SEC (at best little twin brother with Vandy).

  15. jack
    1:32 pm September 26, 2011 Permalink

    ok, I’m a fan of UK let me say that first, but for everyone here that says we need to get a new coach, a historically winning coach for this program, I say this… Where? Who would leave a winning program, a program that would probably be paying their coach way, way more than we would/could? Look at Alabama they have 4 or 5 million invested in Saban. Do you honestly think if we offered him way more money, say 8 million he would come to UK? No one would, in my opinion.

  16. manbearpig
    1:36 pm September 26, 2011 Permalink

    In the words of James Carville, it’s the coach stupid!! You get a below/average coach you get below/average recruits. Case in point Billy G recruitimg compared to Cal.

  17. IloveUKFootball
    1:39 pm September 26, 2011 Permalink

    15. So you say there is no hope for football so just forget it. NO. I won’t forget it. I demand better! I will always demand more, until were on par with LSU and Alabama and Florida I will demand better. We can and someday we’ll have administration that has some brains and will.

  18. lpool003
    1:40 pm September 26, 2011 Permalink

    @11. There are two separate endowment funds. There is a school endowment and athletic endowment. I believe the chart is referring to the athletic endowment which covers the cost to provide scholarships to all UK athletes. Furthermore, it allows the athletic department to move money around since the cost of the scholarship would fall squarely on the athletic department should there not be enough endowment money to cover the cost of all athletic scholarships.

  19. Matt
    1:40 pm September 26, 2011 Permalink

    I really enjoyed the post. Information provides basis for positions. I much prefer a reasoned post based on evidence as opposed to some opinionated drivel I can read from any forum filled with high school kids and i-think-i-know-it-all’s. Is it fun to receive news in ridiculous fashion? Absolutely. Is it necessary to have posts like this…. yup. Unless we don’t want to know the truth because ignorance is bliss and its more fun to just throw out baseless opinions.

  20. I never learned to read
    1:44 pm September 26, 2011 Permalink

    …the post before I comment. #13 I’m pretty sure the thesis of this post is that UK has the money to spend more on football, not “making excuses” for the UKAA or paying it lip service.

  21. BigBlueLush
    2:02 pm September 26, 2011 Permalink

    I just wish we didn’t suck so bad.

  22. bung
    3:03 pm September 26, 2011 Permalink

    we should do stuff for football like increasing the price of tickets again since rich people dont boo much…

  23. keenelandexpansion
    3:10 pm September 26, 2011 Permalink

    If UK has a 800M Athletic endowment there is absolutlely no reason they couldn’t throw 100M at the football program. That would provide amazing results.

  24. #youguysareridiculous
    3:41 pm September 26, 2011 Permalink

    I am really enjoying these posts. Don’t get me wrong….they aren’t the posts that are selling ads, but I for one as a fan want to know the facts. This is really helping me to see what separates us from the traditional powers of the SEC. Is it money, location, philosophy, lack of in state fan support(boosters ect). I’m an inquiring mind and I want to know. Beats the stupid drivel you guys default to in the comments section every week. ie. Joker sucks, play calling sucks, Mitch sucks…….

  25. #youguysareridiculous
    3:41 pm September 26, 2011 Permalink

    I am really enjoying these posts. Don’t get me wrong….they aren’t the posts that are selling ads, but I for one as a fan want to know the facts. This is really helping me to see what separates us from the traditional powers of the SEC. Is it money, location, philosophy, lack of in state fan support(boosters ect). I’m an inquiring mind and I want to know. Beats the stupid drivel you guys default to in the comments section every week. ie. Joker sucks, play calling sucks, Mitch sucks…….

  26. FinalBattleFight!
    4:47 pm September 26, 2011 Permalink

    After reading this post I enjoyed it. Thanks for the information, apologies for the earlier attack. Football has me all sour.

    The most aggravated fan base should be UGA. They pull in $71M and only spend $18M?!? No wonder Richt and Co. can’t keep up with the class of the SEC.

  27. crackerhillbilly
    5:00 pm September 26, 2011 Permalink

    I’m just glad UK is finally getting a new outdoor track facility. The previous blue monster was bad for a high school, much less an SEC school. And, if you think track doesn’t matter to football, ask all the Wildcats who caught a good glimpse of Jeff Demp’s ass Saturday night.

  28. tbd4567
    6:42 pm September 26, 2011 Permalink

    #16 has it right. Even a bad athlete can have a good formation and do a good job with what he has-even if he gets beat by a superior force. Ky this year has not done a good job with any position on the field. Bad blockers, missed blocks, missed defenders, lack of a down field block, lack of a square block, failure to box in a runner and stay balanced, failure to wrap up a tackle x 3-4, no one guarding the center of the field, failure to come off blocks to attack a runner, dropped balls, dropped balls, fumbles, pass to defenders, pass into double coverage, failure to attack the line or the ball…….Its as if they were trained to do it wrong. In fact it appears they are not trained at all. Is that bad talent or bad coaching?

    Can you actually say we pay significantly less on the program than other teams?

    Yes to the coaching contract, no (not much more anyway) to facilities, yes to direct payments to players (a la Alabama a few years back and TN more recently)…(think how bad the Miss State facility is to ours and how bad they continue to beat us) etc., etc., etc.

  29. Tyler Montell
    7:33 pm September 26, 2011 Permalink

    All- I was referring to the University endowment. Athletic endowment does cover scholarships but is a fraction of $800M. The University can make loans to UKAA even though UKAA is self-sustainable, but other schools, granted smaller than UK, pay for Olympic deficits out of endowment funds, I believe, so there is some comingling.

  30. Charles
    7:09 am September 27, 2011 Permalink

    South Carolina is a prime example of a program that has made two great hires and has greatly elevated it’s profile!

    There is no excuse other than making a bad hire folks!

    My challenge to the “fans” is this. If you want to make positive changes in football, STOP GOING TO THE DAMN GAMES AND SUPPORTING THIS GARBAGE AND DEMAND THE ADMINISTRATION GO OUT AND HIRE A GREAT COACH!!! Its that simple. The fans are really to blame for showing up.

  31. Charles
    7:13 am September 27, 2011 Permalink

    We now have a tubby smith situation with football. Hello Joker Smith!!!

  32. El Dude
    8:14 am September 27, 2011 Permalink

    #10 – I really like guys like you. All we have to do is hire a big time coach, add water…and we win! Give me 3 reasons why an “established” coach would want to come to UK. At this time and place, the best UK can be is a consistent 7 win program. I don’t know why this is so hard for people to understand.

  33. arlie
    9:08 am September 27, 2011 Permalink


  34. El Dude
    10:00 am September 27, 2011 Permalink

    #30 – Let’s go get the next Bill Curry! He was a big-name coach. That worked out well.

  35. keenelandexpansion
    8:41 pm September 27, 2011 Permalink

    Why are so many comments, including mine, deleted?