Friday, February 9, 2007

OU to absorb post-season costs

From the Post:

OU to absorb post-season costs

The Ohio football team’s first trip to a bowl game in 38 years wasn’t planned, nor was it budgeted for.

After reimbursement payments from the Mid-American Conference and ticket revenue are factored in, Ohio University will pick up the remaining $277,550 tab from the Bobcats’ appearance in the MAC Championship and GMAC Bowl, paying for it out of institutional general reserves, said William Decatur, vice president for finance and administration.

“It’s one-time money,” he explained, adding that the same reserves were used to comply with the minimum wage increase. “It’s an opportunity that wasn’t anticipated or budgeted for in the athletic department, but certainly something the university is proud of and, there was no question about us attending those games.”

For winning the MAC East Division, coach Frank Solich received the 5 percent bonus — $12,484 — stipulated in his contract, which will come out of the athletic department’s salary budget, said Kirby Hocutt, director of athletics. Solich’s base salary is $249,672.

There are no contractual bonuses for assistant football coaches, but Hocutt said the athletic department received private donations amounting in $40,000 that is being used “to reward our football coaches for a great season.”

Ohio’s participation in the MAC Championship game in Detroit on Nov. 30, for which the conference doesn’t offer any reimbursement, makes up $95,000 of that total. That includes travel and lodging costs, along with the expense of housing the team while they practiced in Athens during winter break.

Total expenses to send the football team and its staff, cheerleaders, dance team and university officials to Mobile, Ala., for the GMAC Bowl on Jan. 7 came to $531,105. That number includes transportation ($237,644) and meals and lodging per diem ($198,001) for all 261 people who participated in the weeklong bowl-game festivities.

Some other GMAC Bowl expenses include entertainment ($7,124), equipment and supplies ($26,671), awards ($37,223) and promotion

expenditures ($12,495).

Those expenditures are offset by the $300,000 reimbursement Ohio will receive from the MAC for its participation, and the revenue from 1,097 tickets sold, or $48,555.

Although Ohio did not make enough money to cover all bowl expenses, Hocutt said the national attention from post-season games is well worth the cost.

“I think you have to look at the intangibles that are associated with it,” Hocutt said. “We’ve been in USA Today every day with the bowl lineups, we’ve been on the scroll of ESPN every night in (December.) We’re exposing Ohio University to the entire country.”

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