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UK Campus Newspaper now weighing in on Football Funding

  • It is. I think they need to start a campaign though. I don't remember UK having a fundraising campaign.


  • ^

    The most troubling issue I have with Mitch is that there isn't any creativity to his problem solving.

    If the 'bonding issue" is, and has been, as crystalline as Hop pontificates incessantly, then why in the samhill has Mitch not earmarked football profits FOR YEARS into a comprehensive honeypot for major improvements BACK to the football program. He is full knowing what Florida, USCe are building.. He's getting destroyed in a hyper arms race, yet other minor UK sports are reaping the benefits of the SEC welfare checks and football profits.

    With foresight and full understanding of "bonding" obstacles, Mitch or any AD worth his salt would have found a way to steer the football funding issues AROUND such obstacles. If he would have taken $15M a year and put it in a capital fund and bank it, use it as a goal for corporate matching, naming rights, master planning of a real capital project...SOMETHING!!! By now we'd be knee deep in stadium and facilities upgrades... But to sit there for 8 years then crying the last 2 about hands being tied by state legislature compleltely rings hollow... If it's that difficult to figure a way to compete in football in the league ...QUIT.

    Mitch isn't doing us any good if he can't allocate funds HE is responsible for allocating. The main purpose for an AD IS to reinvest into the overall football product. From there its simple trickledown economics. If football is successful it ensures competitiveness, if not success for EVERY UK sport.

    This post was edited by Kevin Ryan 19 months ago

  • I agree we need to spend more money on football, however, every other sport at Kentucky IS competitive.

  • Hop we all know other SEC schools produce gobs of money compared to ours, that's not the issue... The problem is that our program has and does profit yet Mitch and Co haven't done more to help a already weak unit... Our AD is more worried about soccer and baseball, those sports are easy to fix compared to FB, the bottom line is we compete in the SEC so he should be judged on how much the football program improves and nothing else...

  • I get the bonding capacity argument. But it seems to me from the article that the producer of the profit is receiving a very small amount of the profits they produce. I have no problem funding other programs with the profits, but the program that's providing the most should receive much of that benefit in return. At that point, you can then start building a capital campaign and worry about bonding issues.

    A true problem solver could've found a way to somewhat keep up with the Jones' in the SEC.

  • 2011 UK had $83.6M athletic budget...On par w/ UGA...more than ARK, MS St., Ole Miss, MIzzou & Vandy...Mid-tier among our SEC brethren (& they've been a mid-tier in earnings/expenses for YRS!)...So, It's not like UK doesn't have the $$$ to compete in the SEC.

    Yet, EVERY other member in the SEC has made a major monetary commitment to improving their FB facilities w/in the last couple yrs...Even VANDY, even our newest members A&M / Mizzou.

    While UGA, UT, LSU, USC, UF, ALA, ARK & AUB are breaking in new lush FB only training facilities...UK is admiring their new fatheads & UK wallpaper at Nutter. While MS St, Vandy, Ole Miss & Mizzou are talking stadium expansion/modernization...UK is trying to sell more advertizing on the new ribbon boards & scoreboard to unfilled antiquated empty bench seats in Commonwealth.

    It's sad & embarrassing.

  • We simply can not do large renovations without bonding. That is the reason that we haven't seen Commonwealth renovations done. I just don't know why it is so dang hard to get the state's support. UK should be able to devise and present a plan to illustrate how they would re-pay the bond through luxury suites, etc...


  • Correct. UK can NOT do 100 million dollar+ projects without the help of the state. However, it's more obvious than ever that UK has had enough money from football revenues to fund multiple projects in the 4-8 million dollar range, ie recruiting room and projects of that scale. For whatever reason, they chose not to.

  • That's simply false.

    Look at the facts and compare to other schools.

    Every other school in the SEC relies on football to fund their ENTIRE athletic department including boys basketball. UK is the only program that funds their entire athletic department from football and basketball.

    Another massive difference is this. Amongst the schools we "want to be". Bama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee etc... their football teams produce massive amounts of cash from footbal compared to UK. It's not even close. Why do they produce this? Because they don't have to go to frankfort to beg for the money. They have their own bonding authority. The commonwealth of KY's laws dont' allow schools to bond on their own.

    So while UK football does support other sports, it does so with much less money. You're not comparing apples to apples.

    Barnhart and Brooks both agreed to postpone the "recruiting room" (overrated) so that it woudl be included in the stadium renovation when that happens. Brooks and Barnhart put players facilities first. Numerous 1,000,000 + projects have been done in the last 8 years. I've listed them on here before. A 2 million project was done last year for teh jumbo trons, sound systems and ribbon boards.

    So in reality, UK football is facing a double barreled issue. A. They have to operate on less revenue because we don't have the suites and club seatings the big boys have. But we also face a much bigger issue in getting those "big boy money generators". We have to beg politicians for the money. That's the main issue. If we had the "big boy money generating seats" then we could do even more of the 4/8 million dollar projects.

    So instead of making this stuff up about "they choosing not to" fund these projects, call David Williams and tell him to give UK $500,000,000 more in bonding capacity.

    This post was edited by hoptownukfan 19 months ago

  • Even with current revenue, UK could easily afford a large bonding project without any monetary assistance from the state or the university. That revenue is going to see an even larger bump when the new tv contracts are negotiated in the next couple of years. If ESPN jumps on board with the SEC tv idea, then UK could see tv revenue increases up to 10 or 15 mil a year on top of what they receive now. Those are high end figures I have seen, but at a minimum they will get a 5-8 mil a year bump.

    The troublesome part I see is the amount of potential revenue UK misses out on. Luxury suites, terrible teams, and decreased season ticket sales suck away a lot of potential cash. If UK could field a solid team most years, a team that competes, and isn't the butt of every national tv analyst's joke, there is millions more to be had there also, from increased ticket sales.

    Kentucky is no different than the rest of America. Football is the top sport. To say this is a basketball state is one of the dumbest things I have ever heard. 90% if not more of all the UK basketball fans I know, only watch UK. They watch no other basketball, because they don't enjoy it. I can't tell ya how many times I've had other fans say, I would love to go to UK football games, but who wants to go watch your team get drubbed. UK football fan support would dwarf basketball, because more people in the state like football, just like the rest of America. If not for Rupp's success, no one would call this a basketball state. Like any other fan base in the country, the most successful teams get the most attention.

    I love the basketball team as well as the football team. Never miss a game, go to the SEC tourneys, NCAA games when plausible, and home games when I can during the season. And just like most other UK fans, football is my favorite sport.

    This post was edited by BigBlue1202964 19 months ago


    This post was edited by hoptownukfan 19 months ago

  • Yea, I do not understand your point of how UK can bond without the help of the state.

    UK has the money to build a recruiting room but as hop said, UK has already said that they will include the recruiting room as part of stadium upgrades. In the meantime, UK has made aesthetic and progressive upgrades to Nutter and the practice field.

    UK does have the money to do smaller projects like softball and soccer. So they did. I have no problem with that. It has no effect on the football projects. We get funding and we get what we want.

    Election year was the year to put pressure on the state legislation. I hope we didn't miss our shot this go around.


  • Also, improvements to soccer and softball make those programs stronger which in turn makes our athletic department stronger. I have had a few recruits note that the reason we are an attractive option is because our athletic department as a whole is great. It shows that we are dedicated to success. It's just time to get it done now.


  • What nobody seems to be talking about the fact that UKAA has given over $100M to the university since 2002.

    Yeah, that $Millions beyond what they've paid in scholarships, office rental fees - merchandise revenues & the such)....And had the UK Admin allowed UKAA to bank those funds, instead of funneling that money to pet projects (like the %$535M UK Hospital). UKAA would have the coin on hand to make the improvements to Commonwealth (& the FB complex) the program so desperately needs...And most likely the new baseball stadium, as well - since the compounded interest on that kinda coin would have been close to $38M over 10yrs (conservative 3% increases)

  • You do realize that nearly every university does that, right? Royalties, tutoring, etc...


  • So just so I understand. Your opinion is thy uk should allocate bonding authority to athletic projects and not the hospital? The hospital is much like uk football. The investment pays for itself.

    I for one think uk should put the hospital and university as a whole ahead of football.

    This post was edited by hoptownukfan 19 months ago

  • No...That's not my opinion at all.

    I'm saying that UK should be able to not suck every last cent out of UKAA. When they are separate entities. W/ very different mandates!

    IMO, UK Academia shouldn't be choosing to bleed one profit stream, In favor of another profit stream that could fully pay for itself. Especially not when UK, as an institution, has a $2.6B budget...2.6 BILLION....And they've had other huge ungodly #'s tossed out there every yr for yrs & yrs!!!

    So, it's not like they do not have the funds available to support their own pet projects...Dr. Todd's $535M investment/legacy in the Albert B. Chandler / UK Hospital makes %100 sense to build it...No doubt, No arguments...I'm from Eastern KY & I understand the need. BUT COM'ON...The UK hospital project will be a very profitable investment for UK.

    As for the UKAA (who's recently released info on a $91.9M figure for it's 2013 budget)...There stated tasked is...And I quote, from the UK official website on this: "The department is responsible for pursuing all facility upgrades and new construction on its own, without being granted bonding authority."...(IE. The UKAA doesn't need bonding authority to complete it's job of facility construction!!!)

    BTWN theses 2... IMO, There's no debate when it comes to FB projects vs health care projects,when it comes to gaining bonding authority in the KY legislature...It's always much much easier to get bonding from the state for Hospital projects!!! And by bilking/reallocating $Millions of UKAA profits to help pay for the above pet had a very damaging effect on to UK as a whole. (not just to the FB program)

    So, It's not that it just took much needed funds away from future planning for the UKAA's Cash Cow (FB)...It made UKAA unable to fulfill it's stated responsibilities! It's the same backwoods thinking that never allowed UK FB to fully maximize it's potential...How could it...Many fail to see the damage as long as UK MBB is the gold standard...They do not seem to understand that there's so much to gain through FB success in the SEC! (Not just adding more FB revenue, It's the lost marketing & visibility that SEC FB success brings (FB moves the needle...BB - not so much in the grand scheme of things!)...Winning FB increases enrollment & donations....It helps the city, the state & university as a whole..And what's good for UK, LEX, & KY is good for me!

    This post was edited by catcard202 19 months ago

  • I am saying this as politely As possible. You simply don't know what you are talking about. Ukaa has paid for significant facilities upgrades on their own. They've been listed on here many times before. The only facility that we could have realisticly paid for in the last few years was the recruiting room, but as I said previously brooks and Barnhart both agree that they shouldn't build the recruiting room stand alone. It should be a part of the stadium expansion.

    As for the stadium expansion. There was NO WAY to build that significant of a project without bonding authority from the state. Ukaa does turn money back over to the university every year but its not enough to pay for a 150,000,000 upgrade. You have to be able to go in debt to do that. There isn't a program in the country that hasn't gone into debt for that kind if an upgrade.

  • You do realize that, unlike nearly every other institution in the nation, the University of Kentucky does not take 1 red cent out of its central budget to support athletics!!!
    It has received a sizable chunk of the athletics departments profits (of which UK FB is the cash cow!)..And done so on a yrly basis, to the tune of over $100M since 2002.

    Those sizable yearly deposits, along w/ a compounding interest rate, would generate a very nice growth over a decade. And UKAA would have been able to give UK FB a level playing field.
    At a very conservative 3%...That adds MILLIONS in interest...Meaning Mitch would only need to close a naming rights deal & hold a small fundraiser w/ a few big-wigs to get the $20-25M needed to close the financial loop.

    This post was edited by catcard202 19 months ago

  • LSU is one of the profitable athletic programs that are doing the same kinda of funding that UKAA has been doing for yrs...But it should be noted that they reported $47M in FB related profits in 2011 (vs $18.1M by UK FB)...So, $36M over the next 5yrs is not = to $100M+ over the last 10yrs at UK.

  • Where are you coming up with the $100M? That's a serious question. I haven't seen it anywhere.

    Our basketball program is much more profitable than their's. They still have the advantage but the gap is much smaller.


  • Please link the 100 million article please.

  • Bonding is only part of the issue. Yes bonding does affect the ability to borrow hundreds of millions of dollars to transform the football stadium. Bonding doesn't make our football staff the lowest paid in the SEC. Bonding doesn't make Brooks and Phillips the lowest paid Head Coaches at their hiring in the SEC. Bonding doesn't keep us from spending over a million a year on women's basketball HC.Bonding doesn't keep us from major upgrades to softball and soccer. Bonding didn't make UL and WKU leap past the UK football program in two years. Bonding doesn't make our DL miss alignment shifts that a HS line should recognize. Bonding doesn't make our linebackers make terrible reads. Bonding doesn't make us play true freshmen at CB. Bonding didn't keep Brooks from going to 4 consecutive bowl games. Bonding doesn't make our public and fan relations efforts for football embarrassingly unprofessional.

    Bonding is not the major obstacle to football improvement at UK. Current bonding issues certainly don't help but do you honestly think that if UK went to the legislature with a comprehensive football bonding plan they would get turned down? Has that happened? I don't think so. If the administration wanted a better program they would have one. Pay what you need to get a coach. Stop taking every penny you can from football for the non-revenue sports. Give the HC control over a significant part of the football revenue to improve the program and get together some people who can recognize and recruit a real football HC and it can happen. It is absurd for the University not to and even more absurd for the administration and its fans to argue that it can't happen. Even our short episodes of success have resulted in more income and support for the University. Football is a win win. Just look around.