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Funding Athletics


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Excerpt from Buffalo paper:


The University at Buffalo's ability to succeed in Division I sports will depend on financial support from the community, the chancellor of the State University of New York said here Monday.

"If we want to do it, we're going to have to have some people out there willing to support it," Robert L. King said following a speech at a breakfast meeting of educational and community leaders. "It's an important element of the campus. Again, it's going to come down to money."


King said the State Legislature is unlikely to provide sufficient funds to develop big-time Division I athletic programs at UB or other campuses in the SUNY system. Instead, he said, the individual schools should look to financial supporters, booster clubs or business partnerships.


In a hopeful development, he noted, private donations to SUNY schools are up 73 percent since 1999. "If we reach out to our alumni and ask them for help, they are giving," King said.


UB recently hired Gene Corrigan, former commissioner of the Atlantic Coast Conference, as a consultant to help determine the direction of the athletic program. Binghamton University and the State Universities of Albany and Stony Brook also are attempting to build successful Division I sports programs.


"It has been a little bit of a difficult road," King said during his speech in the Hyatt Regency Buffalo. "I am hopeful that over time we will win our share of division championships."



I'm buying my lotto tickets religiously, my current donation levels aren't going to get it done!

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Interesting post considering a different piece of news I received. I flipped through the Winter UALBANY MAGAZINE and noticed that the "REUNION YEAR" classes (looked like a good 10-15) are all doing "scholarship" drives as their Reunion class gifts. I am guessing some will go to athletics.


The Buffalo situation, however bleak, is the outgrowth of two events: the first being that they were the "older brother" and the state and school learned the hard way what not to do, the second that the school was almost thrown to the wolves because of the speed they tried to bring an unsuccessful DIII progam to IA. The other University Center have learned alot about what not to do from Buffalo.

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Although (I hope) the new President will make a big difference, all I'm going to say is look at the Bold. Vision. Campaign goals, and the percentage of the money that is "designated" for athletics. Obviously, it could exceed that amount if people donate directly to athletics, but they "earmarked" a certain percentage out of the general donations for athletics.


Realizing that this is the old guard which set up the funding goals, I am not looking to assign blame.


But if you compare this with the fundraising campaigns underway or recently completed at other D-I schools, I think you will find that not only the total amount, but also the percentage of the total campaign, at UAlbany is below that of the other campaigns.


Although community support is necessary, of course, when you go out looking for $500 million dollars and earmark only $8 million for Athletics (1.6%) ... something has to change at the top. If you (we) are going to attempt to run with the big dogs, we have to start to act (and fundraise) like it.


Granted they are Ivy and have Ivy alumni, but Cornell is in the middle of a $100 million ATHLETICS-only campaign ... http://cornellbigred.collegesports.com/sch...s-campaign.html & http://victorious.alumni.cornell.edu/


As a school, Hartford is looking for $175 million, and $10 million to athletics (5.7%) ... Vermont's campaign is seeking $250 million, $5 million for athletics (2%) ... Boston U. raised over $53 million for athletic facilities ...


Buffalo, our sister school, completed a $291 million campaign, giving $5.25 million to athletics (1.8%, but we are raising 171% of that figure).


Off of Google I found Illinois State ($4 million for facilities from an $88 million campaign, 4.55%) ... Central Michigan sought $50 million total, and $11 million for athletics (22%) ... Iowa has an ambitious $1 billion campaign, with $112 million to athletics (11.2%, but by that token UAlbany Athletics should be getting $56 million) ... Miami (FL) is looking for $1.2 billion ($797 million so far) and looking for $63 million for athletics (5.25%) ... Stanford, in a $1 billion campaign, sought $50 million in endowed scholarships and an endowment for each sport & head coaching position, totaling another $45 million. $95 million (9.5%)


And finally, the biggest one I could find in my 20 minutes spent on this project. Duke raised $152,495,531 for athletics. Not kidding. That was achieved, not some goal. From 1996 to 2003, as part of a $2.3 billion campaign. 6.65%


Many of the schools earmarked a significant portion for facility construction and scholarshop endowment, the gift that keeps giving. Although $8 million is great, don't get me wrong, it's not all going to come at once, and it's not going to magically create a student recreation center, football stadium, etc.


I believe UAlbany could, and probably should, easily earmark 5% for athletics & recreation (don't forget that part of the title). $25 million should be the lowest the goal should go. Even if it was specifically earmarked for certain jobs, and scholarships.

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One of us should speak directly with the source...Dr. McElroy. Just flat out ask him off the record what is in store and how long will it be before it is a reality. I was planning on asking him at one of those football dinners that they were promoting but it had been cancelled before I had the chance.


I assume they are being paid for all the ass kickings in football they are taking. Syracuse must also be paying to wallop us in hoops. Where is all this money going? Is it part of the athletic campaign or is it seperate? Just curious.


Its my feeling from my sources thet we will get to play full scholarship football on equal footing. The real question is WHEN? If we re- up in the NEC after the 2006 season we will have our answer. If not it may occur sooner. Just one persons opinion.


As far as hoops go we are already D1 with fully funded players and it appears that Coach Brown has them on the right path. What other upgrades are needed for hoops? LAX appears to be in great shape with playoff appearances and now a new stadium/field. The only thing that remains in the dark is the status of our football stadium etc.

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Some of the figures within Bold.Vision may be considered speculative.


Within the latest report of the UAlbany Foundation there's a graph which seems to say that 4% of annual foundation support goes to Athletics.


You can find the graphs and tables here




More than 2/3rds of annual foundation support comes from individual donations. (If I recall correctly when the individual donation threshhold exceeds $100 the donation can be "desginated" i.e. specified for a specific area such as athletics).

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That chart looks like 4% of about $15 million in endowment income, or roughly $600,000 per year. According to that chart. And for all we know, that's true and has been for a while, perhaps that is how the budget is partially funded.


My point was more that when you're announcing a $500 million campaign (which is, supposedly, different than your annual giving fund), you should announce that you're looking for more than $8 million (1.6%).


Either you're publicly going to make athletics a priority, or you're not.


By putting $8 million for an entire athletics & recreation department up against the other totals they were seeking, to me, said to all the students "Sorry, no new facilities coming any time soon. We just don't care."


That campaign was a prime opportunity to say to the community, our facilities are sub-standard, students won't come to this part of campus unless there is a draw, we need a new facility, with athletics areas, so that we can dedicate more room in the existing buildings to student endeavors (new weight room, more space for activity classes like karate, dance, aerobics, etc.).

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I'm a little reluctant to get into this because its mostly an educated guess, but I suspect that the funding stream for athletics & recreation is multi-source, which could include: direct state support, SUNY construction fund, student activity/athletic fee, generated revenue (ticket sales), and UA foundation.


If that's a reasonable picture, then the various funding sources each likely come with their own restrictions and conditions, eg. construction fund could be used for facilities but not personnel, foundation funds may be designated for very specific uses, etc.


Within a capital campaign its also true that a number of types of donations, including equipment and property, can be counted against the goal, so its not necessarily just cash coming in.


When you talk about funding something like a major stadium or full-scholarship football its not necessarily a straight line in the SUNY system. Especially on a stadium you'r most likely looking at a multi-source partnership (that's the big hangup right now between District of Columbia and Major League Baseball).


My opinion is when you hear the local politicos starting to talk about getting behind a football (or multi-use) stadium, that's when you're on the verge of it becoming a reality

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Has that been the case with the local politics? I am in NYC and I am not informed as to the local flavor of Albany politics or SUNY politics. What has been said if anything?


The only thing I hear is that it is a 5-10 year transition for everything(without mentionoing scholarships or a stadium). Meanwhile everyone I speak with says it is a GO! No one has confirmed or denied a football stadium. My sources are in "the know" but do not know when a footbqall stadium is going to happen. This appears to be a sticking point with the University.

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Article in Buffalo Review FYI:

Weighty decisions affect UB, Canisius athletics

Rick Maloney

The past week has brought news from the campuses of the University at Buffalo and Canisius College regarding the business of their respective athletic programs.


The subject matter is not parallel. At UB, the retention of administrator Gene Corrigan to peer deeply into the Bulls athletic department is a bit tardy but nonetheless welcome and most definitely necessary. At Canisius, the decision by Director of Athletics Tim Dillon to remove longtime hockey coach Brian Cavanaugh without full explanation has triggered surprise.


Let's start at UB. Corrigan is well bred in the business of college sports, having served as the athletic director at the University of Virginia and Notre Dame, as commissioner of the Atlantic Coast Conference, and a tour as president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, or NCAA. His mission is to give UB President John Simpson a guideline as to what the Bulls, six years into their membership in the Mid-American Conference, need to do in order to become competitive in all sports, but especially football.

The Bulls' struggles on the gridiron stretch far beyond wins and losses. Bringing stability to that vital revenue-generating sport is essential to UB's intercollegiate athletic future, at least if the Bulls are to maintain membership in the MAC.


There are several areas where UB trails its fellow MAC members, from differences in the cost of tuitions/scholarships to travel to facilities. The cost of truly supporting a full-fledged D-I program is an investment that was never properly planned for and undertaken at UB. There have been some accomplishments, most notably the multi-million renovation of Alumni Arena. Despite the laborious effort by the athletic department staff under interim A.D. Bill Maher, the university's overall lack of foresight continues to hold the program back today.


As the MAC is sending a record five teams to post-season bowl games, here is one example of how UB trails its opponents. Let's imagine that UB was among those five schools competing in a postseason game -- yes, it's quite a dream. The Bulls would likely be forced to practice outdoors because unlike most other MAC schools, there is no fieldhouse on campus to allow for indoor practice. (Fortunately for spring practice, UB has the availability of the Bills' fieldhouse in Orchard Park.) That may not bring sympathy but it is those types of investments, or lack thereof, that hinder recruiting and keep UB placed near the bottom of the MAC pack.


Apparently Corrigan, who has undertaken similar reviews at several other MAC schools, will not provide a recommendation on whether UB should continue as a Division I-A football member. That sport, however, is the crux of the entire athletic department issue. Corrigan's task is to assess the program and "make recommendations on achieving the goals the university has within the Mid-American Conference."


Then again, Corrigan won't have to spell it out. His report will contain numbers, lots of them, with dollar signs attached. Without any financial support from the State University of New York system, it will then be up to Simpson to determine if these are games UB can afford to play.


The situation at Canisius is very much different -- that is, the stunning in-season dismissal of Cavanaugh. The college has offered next to no comment other than a statement saying "irreconcilable differences on a wide range of issues had arisen between Coach Cavanaugh and the members of the team that have caused Coach Cavanaugh to lose the trust and confidence of the team."

An inquiry to Director of Athletics Tim Dillon on Monday generated a response that said Canisius would have no additional comment at that time on the matter.


Know this: Cavanaugh has a real tell-it-like-he-sees it persona. Such honesty or - as some would say - a politically incorrect style, does him no favors. He had a run-in with a player a few years ago that lead his employer to investigate, though nothing came of it.


Speculation now is that any number of players didn't take to Cavanaugh's approach, an approach that apparently was too demanding. Does that constitute cause for firing?


Further speculation is that the players went to Dillon with their complaints, and judging by his decision to remove the coach, he sided with them.


The no-comment stance from the athletic director only fuels the fire, leaving observers to wonder what really happened. It's not fair to Cavanaugh or even the players, and makes Canisius look small. As the saying goes, the silence is deafening.


How sad.


This also is not the first time Dillon has dismissed a long-tenured coach in season. He did likewise with then baseball coach Don Colpoys four years ago.


Cavanaugh is the only hockey coach Canisius has ever known, and he's been at the college longer than any of those current recruits have been alive. Some will tell you Cavanaugh foolishly has stayed too long. And how has that loyalty been repaid?


Cavanaugh has labored on a shoestring budget, of course, always under the "Division I" label. Imagine if the Golden Griffins basketball team had to play its home games at another college's facility, as the "Ice Griffs" do by playing out of the Buffalo State sports arena.


If it hasn't already, the whole scenario should make the Canisius College administration stand up and take notice. You can bet it has made all other coaches question who is in charge -- them or the student/athletes, and with whom does their boss stand?

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I liked the UB side, but I'm not sure how they can question canning the coach at Canisius. The school doesn't exactly light the world on fire, and, it's a Catholic Jesuit school. So if the guy was demeaning players, that's not exactly in keeping with the school's mission. Of course it may not be true, only the players, coach and possibly the A.D. know. But just say for a moment that is "his style". How can you question that??


I predict UB will reach out to Tom Golisano for money to upgrade their football facilities. He offered it with the premise that they would change their name to University of New York, but they declined a while back. I think they will work something out with him. He's too important to Western NY for them not to. Otherwise, I think they lose their spot in the MAC.


But, in men's hoops they beat Penn State tonight.

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So, If I am reading this correctly, NYS and the SUNY system with all of the $ available to them WILL NOT bring scholarship football to Albany or SBU after seeing how bad it worked out for Buffalo? The intrest rates on Munis for the cash reserves alone could fund football across the board for all 3 schools along with Brockport and Cortland if they wanted to move up. It may not be that important for SUNY to have a football presence.


The scary part of this for Albany is if they don't move up they will eventually fold along with the rest of mid major. The real question is if Title 9 was eliminated would Albany go back to D3 or move up? I would love McElroy's answer to that.

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So, If I am reading this correctly, NYS and the SUNY system with all of the $ available to them WILL NOT bring scholarship football to Albany or SBU after seeing how bad it worked out for Buffalo? The intrest rates on Munis for the cash reserves alone could fund football across the board for all 3 schools along with Brockport and Cortland if they wanted to move up. It may not be that important for SUNY to have a football presence.


The scary part of this for Albany is if they don't move up they will eventually fold along with the rest of mid major. The real question is if Title 9 was eliminated would Albany go back to D3 or move up? I would love McElroy's answer to that.

Buffalo went scholarship football with the endowment money from when it was a private university. No, NYS doesn't look at support for public university athletics the way the rest of the country south and west of us does - each campus has to do it on its own, except for capital expenses.


I don't see your point about Title IX - if it were dropped, that would make it easier for scholarship football, not harder, so why would we drop to Division III? (not that I'm in favor of dropping Title IX)

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I apologize for my lack of knowledge of Title 9. You are correct. My thought was that Albany and SBU really want to be D3 and since they cant with the D1 basketball....I am just mixed up. You are right it would be easier for scholly ball if Title 9 were dropped.


Sorry and Happy Holidays

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My thought was that Albany and SBU really want to be D3 and since they cant with the D1 basketball....


Why would UAlbany (or SB, or Binghamton) want to go back to D3? If you look at UA's overall athletic performance across the board (soccer,lacrosse,baseball,softball,track,golf, as well as basketball) they've proved they can compete in America East.


Football is the dilema. Its an expensive sport, and even more so when scholarships enter into the mix. Blasphemous though it sounds, if UA can't be viable in football, is the Binghamton model the solution ?


Notice I said "viable". There seems to be some sentiment that non-scholarship D1 football will eventually fade away.


One other thought: since football also seems to be the "problem" at Buffalo, maybe they need to find a different conference --- perhaps the MAC is just too rich for their taste ?

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