A dozen tidbits from the recently released 2017-18 Fresno State athletics budget, the university’s first spending blueprint in the Jeff Tedford era:
1.) Total projected operating revenue: $37,764,913. This compares to projected revenue of $33.97 million in 2016-17. Actual revenue in 2015-16 was $38.5 million.
2.) Total projected operating expenditures: $37,782,815. This compares to projected expenditures of $33.96 million in 2016-17. Actual expenditures in 2015-16 were $37.58 million.
3.) Why did the Bulldogs football team make back-to-back trips to Alabama and Washington? Money, of course. Fresno State received a $1.4 million guarantee to play the Crimson Tide on the road and $1 million to play the Huskies up north.
4.) It wasn’t cheap to convince Incarnate Word to travel from San Antonio, Texas to Bulldog Stadium for the football opener. The Cardinals got a $350,000 guarantee. BYU, on the other hand, is getting only $250,000 to come to Fresno.
5.) Wrestling returns to Fresno State this year as an intercollegiate sport for the first time in more than a decade. The Bulldog wrestlers will have $231,200 to spend. That includes $142,000 for team travel, $8,000 for coaches’ travel and $40,000 for recruiting.
6.) This academic year also features Fresno State’s inaugural women’s water polo season. The Bulldogs have a budget of $198,800. This includes $74,500 for team travel, $300 for coaches’ travel and $25,000 for recruiting.
7.) Fresno State expects to net nearly $3.9 million in football gate receipts. This compares to projected gate receipts of $3.46 million last year. Actual gate receipts were $3.4 million in 2015 and $4.4 million in 2014.
8.) Fresno State expects to net $716,700 in men’s basketball gate receipts. This compares to projected gate receipts of $593,859 last year. Actual gate receipts were $634,751 for 2015-16 and $613,384 for 2014-15.
9.) I can’t make sense of projected gate receipts for “other sports.” This year’s budget expects $252,400 from the sale of tickets to all other sports. This compares to projected gate receipts of $250,874 last year and actual gate receipts of $267,210 in 2015-16. Last year and 2015-16 didn’t have the wrestling team competing a handful of times at the Save Mart Center.
10.) University support over the past decade has become a much bigger piece of the budget. This year’s budget expects $15.1 million in university support. This compares to a projected $13.6 million last year. Actual university support was nearly $17 million in 2015-16 and $13.4 million in 2014-15.
11.) The budget breaks down “university support” by line item. This breakdown includes $1,293,480 for something called “DeRuyter Term Pay.” Tim DeRuyter was fired as Bulldogs football coach midway through the 2016 season.
12.) The cost of talent keeps going up. This year’s budget expects to spend $7.7 million on athletic aid (scholarships, for the most part). This compares to $7.1 million projected in last year’s budget. The actual cost of athletic aid in 2015-16 was $6.8 million. In 2015-16, it was $5.4 million.
The Fresno State Athletic Corporation board is scheduled to meet at 3 p.m. Thursday. A review of the 2016-17 financial statement is on the agenda. If past practices are any indication, the financial statement won’t be made public until it has been given the A-OK by Fresno State President Dr. Joseph Castro.
My four predictions:
1.) Tedford is a winner.
2.) The Red Wave loves wrestling.
3.) Gate receipts will be better than expected.
4.) We’ve seen the last of football schedules with something along the lines of Alabama and Washington back-to-back on the road.
I find the budget numbers for wrestling and women’s water polo very interesting. Certain boosters argue the two programs are costing the athletic department close to a million dollars, not around $400,000.