Ferd Lewis: WAC hurting Wahine
By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer
The University of Hawaiis perennially successful womens volleyball team and the schools major attraction, its football team, have fallen a combined $353,000 short of what the programs were projected to earn, records show.
Overall, the athletic department is projected to finish between $250,000 and $500,000 over budget for the fiscal year that ends June 30.
The womens volleyball team, which made it to the Final Four this past season, had a $98,000 budget shortfall. The football team, which enjoyed a NCAA record turnaround season in 1999 only to sink to a 3-9 record last season, had a $255,000 budget shortfall.
Projected revenue also is down in UHs five other revenue-producing sports: mens and womens basketball, mens volleyball, baseball and softball.
Football, mens basketball and the two volleyball teams are profitable, but their surplus revenue is needed to help pay for UHs other sports programs.
"Its not that surprising," UH associate athletic director Jim Donovan said. "Some years youre going to have good records and youre going to have a surplus that you can put into your reserve fund. Thats what the reserve fund is there for."
The projected shortfall in the athletic departments annual $16 million operating budget would be paid from the reserve, a state-mandated fund with a balance of $1.4 million.
In the past 10 years, the department has drawn from the account twice - once to help the school pay for a cut in legislative money; the second time, in fiscal year 1999, after an 0-12 football season led to a $1 million revenue shortfall.
Declining ticket sales and the six-figure start-up fee for a womens track and field program led to the projected shortfall.
Through Jan. 31, the football team earned $3,845,000, about $150,000 less than it earned last fiscal year.
The womens volleyball earnings of $852,000 this fiscal year is about $70,000 less than last years earnings.
In a meeting two weeks ago, the UH coaches were told of the projected deficit and asked to try to find ways to cut expenses.
Department officials said they hope to receive money from the sale of UH sports merchandise and apparel. All such goods bearing the new "H" logo are sold through the schools Auxiliary Enterprises program. Proceeds are split between Auxiliary Enterprises, which runs the two UH sports merchandise stores, and outlet stores. The athletic department does not receive any money from sports licensing or merchandise.
UH athletic director Hugh Yoshida said even if the department and Auxiliary Enterprises reaches a revenue-sharing agreement, the athletic departments expected share would not be enough to clear the projected shortfall.
Source: University of Hawaii athletic department
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