Another easy (but more expensive way to do this) is elevating women's crew. The expensive part is the shells which, from my understanding, can be upwards of 50-75k per boat.
Being a former rower and swim club founder, I would love to see both come back but rowing is really costly and isn't a spectator sport. Rowing would be a million to start up with boats, trailer, oars, rowing machines, weights, coach boats, also an issue of where to store the equipment which would be interesting and scholorships. Currently the UA rowing team is unaffiliated with the University so I doubt the new athletic team would get any of their equipment.
Swimming would be cheaper and there is already built in seating area in the PE building, although not cheep just add two lanes and diving boards and your set. Although a diving platform would increase insurance costs.
The key to being successful would be a willingness to work with the current team even if it's not affiliated with the University right now. Also, Crew just isn't as costly as people make it out to be. Especially when comparing it to other sports. Let's help to stop furthering this myth! As far as spectating goes - when was the last time you were at the Head of the Charles or the Grand Stands of a big regatta? Huge, huge spectating potential - an entire shoreline. The $$ come in from sponsorships rather than the gates sales of spectators.
Love your posts, very well written. Last time I was at the Head of the Charles was 2004. Which was my senior year, I was in the College Club Men Varsity 8 race. Yes it is a great spectator race in Boston but that isn't the normal situation. Most races that I have been to as a college and master rower are run by clubs that don't invest in grandstands along a river or lake to allow for great viewing of a race final 250 meters. Boston, Worcester and Philly are the exceptions. Regattas are money makers for clubs and the race organizers make a ton on boat entrance fees. To race in the Head of the Charles was around 200 back when I raced. Not sure what it is now.
Unfortunately according to my math to start a fully scholorshiped D1 program would cost around a million dollars.
The NCAA allows for a maximum of 20 full scholorships for women's rowing. Now this whole conversation got started because of title nine violations. So we are trying to get compliant so let's add the full amount.
So cost of a scholarship using out of state costs are $39,811×20= $778,220.
Average Cost for D1 rowing coach $50,000 not including benefits. Which is a bargin for the work he or she would have to do. $ 828,220. Most likely they would need an assistant coach for recruiting, driving the trailer to races and for extra safety during practice. But for this exercise will leave that out.
Boats Avg Cost for D1 competitive shells 30,000 including tax, so figure you need at least 4 8's just to start 2 Varsity HVW and LTW, 1 JV and 1 Novice. That is 120,000. You could throw in a few 4 and 2 boats but that could come later. 948,220
Oars 4 sets 6,000 (1500 per set) 954,220
Add in a cost of a used dependable Trailer 5,000 959,220, new trailer you could double that price. You also would need to either rent or buy a truck capable of hauling the trailer to races. But that is a cost that is to much of a variable so I will leave that out as well.
Rowing Machines 20 (1100 per erg) 22000 981,220
Coaches boats 2 (5000 per boat) 991,220
Additional Expenses that I am sure are high include insurance, transportation for practice and races, storage fees at either at Albany Rowing Club, Mohawk Rowing or where the current club team practices. Then you have race fees which can run between 100-300 per boat depending on the regatta.
Again it would be expensive to start the program. Now doubt all the scholorships would not be given out in year 1. However in four years after the program is full funded it would exceed over a million. Wish it was cheeper.
BTW the current club coach is a really great coach. Hope to make it up to Saratoga for the Head of the Fish this fall.
Please, please, please don't fall into this trap!! I know you mean well but this is exactly what people tell Athletic Directors when they don't want to see rowing elevated . Don't perpetuate false-hoods!
Regarding rectifying UAlbany's Title IX violations - the letter was clear, the violation was ultimately about female athlete headcount not scholarships. More specifically, proportionality.
I'm trying to be gracious because you're another member of the rowing community. It's not your calculations that are incorrect - it's that your underlying premise and assumptions regarding D1 rowing. Those are VERY flawed. I sense that you're well intentioned but this is just not how Division 1 crew REALLY works.
To illustrate my point - Although I told you that the only programs that have ever purchased a fleet of new boats at the outset were out of the Big 12 with big time football, you insist on throwing out numbers that rely on purchasing brand new boats to have an NCAA program. It just isn't done so it's difficult for me to understand why you would think that UAlbany would or even should do it. Perhaps you missed what I wrote but I wanted to bring it to your attention again. I really hope it's not because your a boat snob
Let's unpack a few of the other items in your post.
You treated scholarships the same way as you did boats. You stated: "... this whole conversation got started because of title nine violations. So we are trying to get compliant so let's add the full amount."
The violations were ones of disproportionate opportunities for women, not expenditures on scholarships. Again this is about headcount.
But as a point of of information, are you aware that not a single Division 1 program has EVER been started with the full compliment of allowable scholarships? EVER. There are, in fact, only a small handful of programs that offer 20 even now. And those programs were elevated in the mid 1990's. It takes time to get there and most haven't yet. There are even a number of schools with ZERO or very few that perform very well. UMASS would be an example of very, very few scholarships but has made the finals of NCAA's as well as the 'tournament' a few times. I know the number but I'm not sure it's public knowledge so am choosing not to share here.
I want to reiterate this - not a single Division 1 program has ever started with all 20. Few have all 20.
There's also a practical side to this - it screws up your recruiting pipeline. It CAN be done but it just isn't and never had been.
You also used out of state tuition - why? It does cover 75% of your original $1 million
You cited a bunch of other numbers that aren't "start-up" costs but rather "game-day" or operational expenses which have reporting requirements. That means you can look at what other schools are spending on their programs. It's not as much as you might think. When you look at per-athlete expenses - Crew and cross country usually compete for the least expensive per-athlete.
There is some good news - the ongoing costs of running a a crew program in the Northeast/New England is low in part because you can drive 3 hr in virtually any direction can get more competition than you can fit into an annual schedule. Again, these expense on a per-athletes basis are roughly the same as cross-country.
So please for the love of that that is good in this world, stop with these crazy numbers. At least If your goal is to find a path forward for women's crew. Other, keep rolling with it as I'll infer as necessary.
But I pose it differently -- how many current NCAA programs are spending $1 million year? I know the answer btw. It's publicly available information. Which, as you might deduce, is why I'm being so crazy-cakes about the numbers you're throwing out. They just don't reflect how Division 1 programs actually operate.
Regarding current coach - I 'know' him in the sense that people in rowing know another (will take my phone calls and answer questions if I text) but not much further than that. I've heard good things though - approachable, fair, knowledgeable, intense, and that the athletes like and respect him. Get in touch with him. My bet is that he'll confirm the essence of what I wrote. Might even have some specifics about the current situation that he'd be willing to share.