Alabama athletics department records $21.2 million surplus in 2013
The University of Alabama athletics department recorded a $21.2 million surplus for its 2013 fiscal year, according to the university’s most recent NCAA financial report.
One of the country’s most profitable athletics departments saw its surplus increase by $8.9 million from 2012, marking Alabama’s second-largest surplus since AL.com began tracking college athletics financial data eight years ago. Since 2006, Alabama has reported annual surpluses totaling $106.5 million.
Alabama’s 2013 finances figure to rank among the largest in college athletics. AL.com has a pending open-records request with Auburn for its 2013 NCAA financial report, which was due to the NCAA earlier this year.
Alabama’s annual debt service for athletic facilities reached nearly $16 million in 2013, up 19 percent from a year earlier and its largest amount in at least eight years. As recently as 2009, Alabama’s annual athletic debt service was $8.3 million.
Alabama’s athletics department transferred $5.9 million to the university in 2013 for initiatives outside of athletics, according to the NCAA report. The university provided athletics with $5.8 million in direct institutional support, which the NCAA defines as institutional resources used for the current operations of athletics, including state funds and tuition waivers. No student fees were charged for the sixth consecutive year.
Alabama reported $143.8 million in total athletics revenue. When adjusting for inflation, Alabama’s revenue has increased 84 percent since 2006, the year before Nick Saban became football coach. Alabama has since expanded Bryant-Denny Stadium, reaped the benefits of new SEC television deals and won three football national titles.
The 2013 revenue total was aided by record-highs in ticket sales ($38.9 million), donor contributions ($34.2 million) and NCAA/SEC payouts ($23.9 million). The Crimson Tide football team accounted for 93 percent of the athletics department’s ticket revenue and 55 percent of its contribution dollars.
Football ticket sales during the 2012 season totaled $36.2 million, a $5.9-million increase from a year earlier. That was Alabama football’s largest single-year increase since AL.com began collecting annual data.
Ticket sales revenue for other Alabama teams in 2012-13:
* Men’s basketball, $1,845,803
* Gymnastics, $421,953
* Baseball, $232,900
* Softball, $181,433
* Volleyball, $15,470
* Women’s tennis, $1,002
Men’s basketball ticket revenue was down 2 percent from the previous year, but was approximately $300,000 more than Anthony Grant’s first season as coach. Money from baseball ticket sales declined for the second straight year. The Crimson Tide once generated $477,603 in sales in 2006, when Alabama hosted an NCAA baseball regional.
Expenses for Alabama’s athletics department in 2013 totaled $122.5 million, marking the third straight year it spent more than $100 million. Back in 2006, Alabama spent $60.6 million — a figure that today approaches amount just on employee pay.
The largest expense continues to be compensation for coaches, support staff and administrators, which reached $42.2 million in 2013. When adjusting for inflation, Alabama’s costs for athletics department employees have increased 87 percent since 2006.
In the 2013 fiscal year, Saban received $6,385,824 in total compensation, including salary, benefits, bonuses and third-party pay, according to Alabama’s NCAA report. Grant made $2,024,161 in total compensation as the men’s basketball coach. Nearly every Alabama head coach exceeded $100,000.
The athletics department spent $13.3 million on scholarships in 2013, when the university’s average cost of a full scholarship was $23,200 in-state and $36,950 out-of-state. Alabama listed its total cost of attendance as $27,532 (in-state) and $42,612 (out-of-state). That means the gap between an athletic scholarship and the university’s listing of what it actually costs to attend school was $4,332 (in-state) and $5,662 (out-of-state).
Cost of attendance is an amount calculated by each institution’s financial aid office that includes miscellaneous expenses beyond tuition, room, board and required books. The NCAA is trying to pass a rule allowing schools to provide athletes with an undetermined amount from a cost-of-attendance stipend, a measure the SEC supports.
The NCAA and several of its member conferences are facing several lawsuits that attempt to better compensate athletes from college sports’ multi-billion-dollar industry. The Ed O’Bannon lawsuit, scheduled for trial in June, wants to end NCAA rules that prohibit athletes from making money off their names, images and likenesses.
The Shawne Alston lawsuit seeks damages for the difference in the value of an athletic scholarship and the full cost of attendance. And last week, high-profile sports labor attorney Jeffrey Kessler filed a suit on behalf of some college basketball and football players that argues the NCAA unlawfully caps player compensation at the value of an athletic scholarship.
Alabama Athletic Finances
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