A Million Here, A Million There, Pretty Soon You're Talking About Some Real Money. The Board of Regents reviewed the athletics budgets of the three state universities yesterday. Despite receiving $700,000 more from the Big Ten and NCAA this season, the UI has actually cut the budget:
Iowa projects a 1 percent decrease from 2009 to $65.6 million, a reduction of about $534,000. Among the decreases include a 5 percent cut in general operating expenses, a 10.5 percent cut in travel expenses and projected lower rates of return on investments. Iowa’s debt service also is projected to increase by $1.1 million because of planned renovations to Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Iowa will receive nearly $19.8 million through the Big Ten and NCAA, mostly through television contracts. That’s an increase of nearly $700,000.
Last year, UI Athletics budgeted for $66.2 million and actually collected $81.1 million in revenue, this despite the fact that 8 people attended basketball games last winter. In other words, budgeting is an inexact science.
More importantly (given recent events) is the amount Iowa receives under television contracts. The $19.8 million in budgeted Big Ten income reflects Iowa's share of the ESPN contract and BTN profits. It's also nearly $4 million more than SEC schools stand to make under their new Leviathan deal with The Worldwide Leader, despite the fact that the Big Ten receives half as much from ESPN for television rights (just as expected). Say what you will about the negative aspects of the Big Ten Network (and we've said plenty), but it has the conference's athletic programs rollin' on dubs.
Caring Makes Me Sleepy. In part 2 of his 2-part series on Iowa basketball recruiting, Dochterman and the aptly-named Van Coleman examine Lick's 2010 class. This time, Coleman is much more positive:
In a conversation with an Iowa assistant coach, Coleman compared Iowa’s 2010 class with some of Iowa’s best players the last 20 years.
"I said, ‘Let’s just make it parallels here,’" Coleman told the coach. "‘Larson could be your Chris Street. McCabe could be your (Jess) Settles, and I said Brust could be your Jeff Horner. If those players can continue to improve and do the things they’re doing right now, you guys have a class that’s a major, major surprise and could be way better in your system.’
"‘These kids should excel. You put them with a group of juniors and seniors who are now going to know exactly how to play your system and are all guys who have bought in and know the system. You have no excuses not to have a tremendous year when that 2010 class is here.’ That’s the pressure on that coaching staff. They have to produce."
A few observations: One, that's some high praise for three kids who haven't even finished high school; at least he refrained from saying "Marble could be your Marble." Two, Coleman's comment on pressure assumes the coaching staff will still be here in 2010; I wouldn't be so sure. Three, if we made an effort at getting the #1 recruit in the country to stay in-state, this could really be something; Harrison Barnes could be your Harrison Barnes!
- Fox Sports ranks Iowa #13 in its preseason power poll, then loses all credibility by writing that quarterback is an area of weakness and the defense will be great if the new tackles are "merely adequate."
- Previously covered during media days, but Jewel Hampton is apparently good to go. Morehouse still thinks Ferentz will use his sophomore starting halfback - the only player on the team with significant carries in conference play - with a history of knee injuries as a kick returner. In other news, either Morehouse is a sucker or Ferentz is certifiable.
- Northern Iowa starts fall practice this morning, getting a two-day head start on Iowa in preparation for the September 5 opener. If we lose that game, I'm blaming it on this.
- "In Heaven There Is No Beer" makes The Rivalry's countdown of reasons to love the Big Ten.