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Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Pay for Play: Cincinnati

By Andrea Adelson

Today, ESPN.com begins a series looking at the pay-for-play issue that has dominated the headlines in collegiate sports. As part of that series, we are taking at look at the finances from one school in each conference. Here is a look at profits, expenses and costs at Cincinnati.


As is the case with most programs, the overall athletic department lost money in 2010. The reason is simply illustrated above -- football and basketball bring in the big money and are able to turn a profit -- but not enough to support every other team without running a deficit. Women's sports, for example, brought in $220,390 in revenues last year. But expenses -- including scholarship dollars and coaching salaries -- were $6 million.

Overall, the biggest-ticket items in an athletic department are scholarships, coaching salaries and team travel. For the entire athletic department, operating expenses totaled $43.8 million. Of that, $15 million went to coaching/administration support salaries, $6.9 million went to scholarships, $8.3 million went to facilities maintenance/rental and $3.3 million went to travel.

On the football side, $1.9 million went to scholarships in 2010, while $4.7 million went to coaching salaries.

You can also see the gap in what a scholarship entails, and what the school estimates is the cost of attendance. It is this gap that has been the subject of discussion among commissioners, athletic directors and coaches in recent months. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany has floated the idea of increasing scholarship dollars to include the actual cost of attendance. In the case of Cincinnati, that appears to be about a $6,500 gap. The actual cost of attendance, as estimated by Cincinnati, includes transportation and personal expenditures.

Another interesting item to note: The Cincinnati athletic department does not collect any money off student fees. It did get $13.5 million from direct institutional sport. According to USA Today, that subsidy increased from 26 to 33 percent since 2006.

The information used in this report came from the school's financial report submitted to the NCAA for 2010.