Once again, I’ve compiled a list of athletics spending around the Altantic 10. Every year athletic departments must report their expenses and revenue to US Department of Education and you can find their reports at Equity in Athletics. For the purpose of this piece, I’ll focus on basketball, along with men’s and women’s Olympic sport. For my Duquesne readers, I’ll give you my school specific take at the end.
VCU went from middle of the conference in men’s basketball expenses to the top while other big spenders Richmond and Dayton round out the top three. In fourth, Duquesne continues its slow climb to the top that started near the bottom of the conference ten years ago. The next five teams, St Joes, St Louis, UMass, Fordham and George Washington are separated by less than $300, 000. George Mason out spent three Atlantic 10 teams while still playing in the Colonial Athletic Association. Rhode Island went from the top spending team in the league last year to third from the bottom while the Explorers got great bang for their buck riding their $2.8 million budget all the way to the Sweet Sixteen. St Bonaventure rounds out the list.
St Joe’s investments in women’s basketball have paid dividends as the Hawks look to dominate the conference they won last year. Fordham, who have improved greatly, came in second on the list with George Washington and Dayton also spending over two million dollars. The rest of the conference slots in between $1.35-2 million. Ultimately there isn’t a huge discrepancy in women’s basketball spending league wide.
George Washington outspent the rest of the conference on both their men’s and women’s Olympic sports. An impressive feat but they sponsor twenty – four Division I teams compared to Duquesne’s fifteen. UMass ranks in the top three for both men and the women with George Mason rounding out the highest grouping for the men and Fordham doing the same for the women. The Colonials and Minutemen each spent $10 million total on their non revenue sports. Duquesne’s low men’s sports spending keeps St Bonaventure out of the cellar in one grouping, but the Dukes fit into the middle of the conference for the women.
In football, Duquesne out spent all but Wagner in the NEC at $2.5 million.
After the spending numbers came out last year, many questioned how much of the increased funding for men’s basketball would remain when Duquesne didn’t have to pay a buyout toan outgoing coach or bonuses to hire a new one. Truth told, spending is down but they maintained most of it. Only Richmond spent more on operating expenses (non scholarship or salary spending) than Duquesne did. In spite of the slow decline of the fan base, Duquesne continues to invest in men’s basketball at a high level relative to the rest of the league. Spending on other sports lags behind, but the future of the athletic department depends on the windfall of potential revenue that only men’s basketball can generate. It makes sense that they get the lion’s share of cash.