Michigan Athletics reflects solid finances in budget


The University of Michigan athletic department expects a budget surplus of $2.4 million for the current fiscal year and projects a $2 million surplus in the coming 2018 fiscal year.

Warde Manuel, the Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics, presented the year-end financials and the budget for the coming year June 15 to the Board of Regents.

For fiscal year 2017, the department anticipates an operating surplus of $2.4 million based on operating revenues of $174.4 million and operating expenses of $172 million. Looking ahead to FY ’18, the athletic department projects an operating surplus of $2 million dollars based on operating revenues of $182.4 million and projected expenses of $180.4 million.

Highlights of the budget, presented by Manuel, include:

• Student season ticket prices will include a need-based discount based on federal Pell Grant eligibility in football, men’s basketball and ice hockey for a third straight season.

• Football ticket sale revenues are projected to decrease due to a six-game home schedule in FY ’18, compared with eight games in FY ’17.

• Conference distributions are projected to increase to $51.1 million in FY ’18 from $36.3 million in FY ’17 due mostly to a new conference media rights agreement. 

• Other revenues are projected to increase to $12.8 million in FY ’18 from $7 million in FY ’17 because of game guarantee revenue associated with a neutral site football game.

• Included in operating expenses is a $4 million transfer to a deferred maintenance fund. The fund is used as a means to provide for major repair and rehabilitation projects for athletic facilities. The athletic department expects to set aside additional funds in future years for this purpose.

• Included in the department’s projections is an increase in transfers to the university from $3.825 million in FY ’17 to $7.875 million in FY ’18.   

The FY ’17 operating budget saw higher than expected revenues primarily due to higher conference distributions and licensing revenues from the transition to a new apparel provider, as well as an increase in preferred seating donations. FY ’17 expenses were higher than projected due to an increase in compensation expense, team and game expense, and an increase in the deferred maintenance fund transfer. 

During the 2016-17 academic year, Michigan was one of just five schools from the Bowl Subdivision to earn a multiyear score of 993 or greater in the sport of football in the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate report. Additionally, U-M is the nation’s only FBS school to record at least a 990 in football and a 995 in men’s basketball. U-M extends its standing as the only school to achieve the aforementioned marks in addition to a 995 or greater in women’s basketball.

Further, Michigan is the only Big Ten Conference institution to earn APR recognition awards in both football and men’s basketball, with men’s basketball now having earned the award in six straight years. U-M led the Big Ten and set a school record with 11 Public Recognition Awards for ranking among the top 10 percent of their respective sports in the most recent multiyear APR report.

Through June 14, a total of 25 student-athletes earned first-team All-America honors during the year with 53 All-America selections in all. Michigan had 48 student-athletes earn All-Big Ten first team honors with 16 student-athletes winning individual conference titles.

A total of 290 student-athletes were named Academic All-Big Ten Conference compared with 276 in 2015-16, 260 in 2014-15 and 235 in 2013-14. Football’s Jake Butt (sociology) and women’s gymnast Nicole Artz (elementary education) were U-M’s recipients of the Big Ten Medal of Honor.

Michigan had two individuals claim Academic All-America honors through the most recent announcements, with both repeating from 2016 honors: P.J. Ransford (men’s swimming and diving — mechanical engineering), and Artz (women’s gymnastics — elementary education). Michigan boasts 131 Academic All-Americans.

In the community, Michigan student-athletes worked in collaboration with numerous local nonprofit organizations. A few of the student-led initiatives included weekly visits with patients at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, local elementary schools, Michigan Buddies mentoring program within the Ann Arbor Public Schools, and Lunch with a Wolverine for elementary schoolchildren, in addition to programs with Wounded Warriors and Adopt-A-Classroom for providing positive role models. 

The Wolverines recorded top-10 finishes in the Directors’ Cup standings in 11 sports: women’s cross country (2), men’s basketball (9), field hockey (9), football (10), men’s gymnastics (7), women’s gymnastics (7), women’s rowing (3), women’s tennis (9), volleyball (9), water polo (5) and wrestling (10) in addition to eight other top-25 finishes.

At the Big Ten level, Michigan earned championships in four sports — women’s cross country, women’s gymnastics, women’s swimming and diving and women’s tennis — as well as winning the men’s basketball tournament title and women’s gymnastics regular-season crown. In addition, the U-M water polo team won the Collegiate Water Polo Association championship.


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