The U-M Athletic Department presented a $151 million budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year during Thursday’s Board of Regents meeting on the Ann Arbor campus.
The department projects an operating surplus of $5.1 million based on operating revenues of $151 million and expenses of $145.9 million. The projected surplus will be used to fund scholarship programs, student-athlete enrichment opportunities and facility projects on the Stephen M. Ross Athletic Campus.
“We greatly appreciate the generous support that our fans and donors provide to Michigan Athletics on an annual basis,” says Dave Brandon, the Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics. “This commitment allows us to invest our operating surpluses and gifts back into our athletic department so that our student-athletes can compete and perform at the highest levels in the athletic arena, classroom and community.”
Following are highlights of the 2014-15 operating budget:
• Football season ticket prices remain unchanged for the public and students based on a seven-game home football schedule.
• The largest increase in revenue will come from conference distributions, which are expected to reach $32 million from $26.5 million last year.
• Michigan Athletics also will see an increase at the outset of the fiscal year with the International Champions Cup soccer match between Manchester United and Real Madrid. The Aug. 2 match will be played at Michigan Stadium with the department receiving a rental fee.
• Premium seating areas at Michigan Stadium and Crisler Center are sold out.
• Total operating expenses budgeted for FY ’15 increase 5.3 percent from the projected actual operating expenses in FY ’14.
• The department will make a $5 million transfer to a deferred maintenance fund compared to $4.75 million in FY ’14. The deferred maintenance fund provides for major repair and rehabilitation projects for athletic facilities. The department expects to set aside additional funds in future years for this purpose.
In addition Michigan Athletics also announced a preliminary FY ’14 operating surplus of approximately $10.2 million, which is $1.2 million greater than what was budgeted. The favorable outcome is primarily due to higher-than-budgeted spectator admissions and Big Ten Conference distributions.
The FY ’14 surplus will assist with facility projects such as the $6 million Athletic Operations Center. The 18,000-square-foot facility will be built using department resources along South State Street and will be used to consolidate maintenance shops, offices, laundry, shipping and receiving and equipment storage into one location.
“Our objective is to provide ‘leaders and best’ support to the over 930 student-athletes who represent our university on 31 teams that all work hard to compete for championships,” Brandon adds. “We want to develop graduates who will make an impact on the world, and invest in facilities and support services for our student-athletes that will create the greatest opportunity for their all-around development and success.”
During the 2013-14 academic year, the Wolverines repeated as national champions in men’s gymnastics and cheerleading, and placed fourth at the NCAA’s in men’s swimming and diving and women’s cross country.
U-M had 18 teams compete in post-season competition with eight of those squads finishing in the top 10 at the national level. A total of 36 student-athletes earned 55 first-team All-American honors during the year. Individually, men’s swimmers Dylan Bosch and Connor Jaeger claimed individual national titles along with men’s gymnast Sam Mikulak.
At the Big Ten level, Michigan claimed the conference crown in six sports: men’s basketball, men’s gymnastics, women’s gymnastics, softball, men’s swimming and diving and women’s tennis. It was the runner-up in five other sports: men’s cross country, women’s cross country, women’s rowing, women’s soccer and women’s indoor track and field. Michigan had 45 student-athletes earn All-Big Ten first team honors with 23 student-athletes winning individual conference titles.
A total of 235 student-athletes were named Academic All-Big Ten Conference and men’s swimmer John Wojciechowski and women’s cross country and track athlete Jillian Smith were U-M’s recipients of the Big Ten Medal of Honor.
Michigan had four individuals claim Academic All-America honors: Connor Jaeger (men’s swimming), Courtney Beidler (women’s swimming), Nicole Elmblad (women’s basketball) and Nicole Sappingfield (softball). And 447 student-athletes were recognized with U-M Athletic Academic Achievement awards for attaining cumulative grade-point averages and achievements during the winter, spring and fall semesters.
In the community, Michigan student-athletes worked in collaboration with eight local nonprofit organizations. A few of the student-led initiatives included the volleyball teams Block Out Bullying Event, the National Girls and Women in Sports Day, ice hockey’s Moustaches for Men’s Health during the month of November, the football team-led food drive for Food Gatherers and the weekly visits from student-athletes with patients at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. U-M student-athletes have devoted time, commitment and passion that created mutually beneficial partnerships in the community.
Michigan Athletics is one of only 23 NCAA Division I athletic departments that earned sufficient revenue to cover all expenses. A self-sustaining auxiliary unit of the institution, athletics does not receive any funds from the university’s general fund or state appropriations.