Tennessee athletics to slash $5 million from budget

Academic coach Lauren Davis, right, works with freshman Bianca Fair at the Student Success Center in Greve Hall Wednesday at the University of Tennessee. The center used money from the athletic department to expand a supplemental instruction program that pays students who ace courses with high failure rates, like chemistry, to audit the same course during another semester and then work with students in the class who are struggling. (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Michael Patrick, copyright © 2012

Academic coach Lauren Davis, right, works with freshman Bianca Fair at the Student Success Center in Greve Hall Wednesday at the University of Tennessee. The center used money from the athletic department to expand a supplemental instruction program that pays students who ace courses with high failure rates, like chemistry, to audit the same course during another semester and then work with students in the class who are struggling. (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL)

University of Tennessee Athletics is slashing $5 million from its operating budget this year as it grapples with a projected drop in ticket revenue and a significant hit to reserves after overspending in the last fiscal year.

Most of the budget cuts will be absorbed through staff reductions rolled out in April and a drop in the number of nonconference opponents UT has to pay to play in Neyland Stadium, said Bill Myers, chief financial officer and senior associate athletics director.

More than $5 million the department gives back to the university in scholarships, graduate student fellowships and campus discretionary funds each year will go largely untouched. It will, however, stop giving to two academic scholarships — the Peyton Manning and Bicentennial awards — both of which have enough in the endowment to cover the annual payout to the recipients, said Vice Chancellor for Communications Margie Nichols.

It's unclear exactly how much the cut will save the athletics department, but it has given about $100,000 to the Peyton Manning scholarship annually. Myers said the department will consider reinstating its annual donation to the scholarship in "two or three years."

The athletics budget shake-ups come after the department reported last month that it had a $4 million shortfall during the last fiscal year, which ended June 30.

The department has bought out multiple coaching contracts, and both renovated and built new facilities in recent years. Thompson-Boling Arena, Neyland Stadium and Lindsey Nelson Stadium all saw upgrades in the last seven years, and UT built a new soccer stadium and aquatic center, leading to debt service payments of about $10 million per year.

The department, however, is making adjustments to both its revenue and expenses to balance the books this year, Myers said.

"We want to make each fiscal year as productive as possible. We dropped the budget from roughly $104 million to $99 million," Myers said. "That's based upon fewer games, a change in what we saw in the economy, lower revenues, dropped expenses based on payroll, game guarantees that were dropped."

As the department works to cut costs, it will also battle a projected $4 million fall in ticket revenue to about $33.6 million.

That's largely because of fewer home games. The basketball team hosted two extra games in the Maui Classic and the football team played an extra nonconference opponent last fall. While the school won't have to pay to play an extra opponent this year — a savings of about $1.7 million over the four games it paid out last year, including the canceled University of North Carolina match-up — it also won't reap the revenue.

Season ticket sales have also lagged at around 60,000 this year, down about 3,000 from last year and almost 10,000 short of its allotment.

To cut costs, athletics also announced 17 layoffs in April as part of the consolidation of the women's and men's athletic departments. The changes resulted in a $2.5 million savings.

"It's a big picture item in which the reduction in force is part of it," Myers said. "We streamlined the use of students and interns, and there were retirements who we did not replace; and we had some individuals transfer to other units in the university."

While the department continues to look at cuts — which Chancellor Jimmy Cheek suggested last week could include money given back to the university — most scholarships, fellowships and campus discretionary funds will remain in place, said Nichols.

Programs such as the Student Success Center, which serves about 12,000 students each year with academic resources, depend on the donations that come from the Athletic Department.

"It's very important because the thing with academic support services is that for students it's free, but we have to hire student (tutors) for those programs," said Anton Reece, director of the center, which receives about $100,000 of its $700,000 budget from the athletics department.

The center used the money to expand a supplemental instruction program that pays students who ace courses with high failure rates, like chemistry, to audit the same course during another semester and then work with students in the class who are struggling.

Athletics will also continue to give about $1.875 million to the Knoxville campus and another $1.05 million to the other campuses as part of a deal worked out when athletics took over the sale of all tickets to donors, Nichols said. Knoxville is using its discretionary funds toward faculty fellowships and professorships.

UT ATHLETICS DONATIONS

UT Athletics donations to academics that will remain unchanged:

Volunteer scholarships $1 million

Graduate fellowships $800,000

Student Success Center $100,000

Tennessee Teaching and Learning Center $100,000

Band scholarships $75,000

UTK discretionary funds $1.875 million

UTC discretionary funds $175,000

UTM discretionary funds $175,000

Health Sciences discretionary funds $455,00

Agriculture discretionary funds $245,000

Agriculture campus professorship $107,000

Total: $5.1 million

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Comments » 64

jobrando#216494 writes:

Obviously a must win season for the University. Got to win 10

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Lot's of nervous people right now at UT. I pray they'll find a solution quick. C'mon donors. Seriously. Some student's depend on these little jobs and scollys.

govolsn3 writes:

There would be a full stadium today if we were playing North Carolina. Enough said.

SevenT writes:

Hopefully the trend of empty seats will cost the AD office and they will get rid of Dooley for not selling tickets.

dannasman writes:

Winning Will Cure these ails!! And as I said earlier this week, I would buy season tickets today if UT would drop the "Seat Donation" requirements which is actually more expensive then the tickets themselves. Instead the seats will be empty today, concession sales will be less today, local business will suffer as well today as many folks such as myself will be watching from home. It cost me & my wife on average $500.00 per game to travel to see UT play, therefore the additional (per seat) "Seat Donation" requirements to purchase season tickets are just a another expense I am not willing to bare! LOVE the VOLS.... GO BIG ORANGE!

yabadabadoo1026 writes:

in response to SevenT:

Hopefully the trend of empty seats will cost the AD office and they will get rid of Dooley for not selling tickets.

you're an idiot

brauhuff#295403 (Inactive) writes:

in response to SevenT:

Hopefully the trend of empty seats will cost the AD office and they will get rid of Dooley for not selling tickets.

Fans that do not want Dooley to succeed are fair weather fans and useless. People that do not want The President to succeed are Un American and useless

JayTee writes:

It's simple economics they have priced them selves off the market.

The size of the seats have been reduced while tickets have tripled in price after a minimum donation depending where you are seated.

Also the concessions are way over priced. The price of a bottle of water was reduced from $4.00 to $3.00. You can buy a case at Walmart for $5.00.

It's not Dooley's fault or lack of winning because I can remember the stadium being packed back when Majors had losing seasons.

It's just pure and simple greed of ripping off the fans and now they are suffering the consequences of their actions.

Out of conference single game tickets are $45.00, in conference single game tickets range from $50.00 for KY to $80.00 for FL, BAMA hasn't been set yet.

creekroad writes:

It's about revenue, not expenses and revenue is about product and product is about more than winning and losing....product is about parking, seat size and the self created tv competition. OBTW we are also in a four year economic depression

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to govolsn3:

There would be a full stadium today if we were playing North Carolina. Enough said.

Yep, you said enough alright, enough to prove you are an idiot.

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to SevenT:

Hopefully the trend of empty seats will cost the AD office and they will get rid of Dooley for not selling tickets.

There is no end to your stupidity. If you knew what you were talking about you would know the current status has nothing to do with Coach Dooley.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

All these coattail riding schools needed to swim without the UT life preserver..Good move, UT has enough on it's plate already.

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to creekroad:

It's about revenue, not expenses and revenue is about product and product is about more than winning and losing....product is about parking, seat size and the self created tv competition. OBTW we are also in a four year economic depression

and it's still Bush's fault

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to govolsn3:

There would be a full stadium today if we were playing North Carolina. Enough said.

Enough said is right..Hamilton was the idiot that caused that situation no one else..That's like Titanic survivors saying: We should have avoided that ice burg..Hindsight is 20/20 etc..STHU, it's not helping a bit to whine about the past..

eb502us#225637 writes:

Just give Obama and the Dems another 4 years AND ALL WILL BE WELL. We'll all be swimming in cash including our athletic dept.

The first 4 years didn't count and as someone just stated, it's all Bush's fault along with the other BAD presidents over the past few decades, at least according to OBAMA.

And we must take Obama's word as he would never lie to the American public.

FearlessFreep writes:

Anyone who's under the impression that UT could afford to replace Derek Dooley this year is sorely mistaken. He's here for at least another year, regardless of what happens on the field.

ReVolver writes:

in response to eb502us#225637:

Just give Obama and the Dems another 4 years AND ALL WILL BE WELL. We'll all be swimming in cash including our athletic dept.

The first 4 years didn't count and as someone just stated, it's all Bush's fault along with the other BAD presidents over the past few decades, at least according to OBAMA.

And we must take Obama's word as he would never lie to the American public.

you have a short memory, or have been brainwashed.

laraccoon writes:

in response to eb502us#225637:

Just give Obama and the Dems another 4 years AND ALL WILL BE WELL. We'll all be swimming in cash including our athletic dept.

The first 4 years didn't count and as someone just stated, it's all Bush's fault along with the other BAD presidents over the past few decades, at least according to OBAMA.

And we must take Obama's word as he would never lie to the American public.

do a little research on congressional partisanship . the president has a lot less power than most people think and until those clowns do their job no president will look favorable .Obama doesnt have bad ideas , he just isnt getting any help ,and unfortunately its the american people who suffer .

dyerbey#281598 writes:

in response to eb502us#225637:

Just give Obama and the Dems another 4 years AND ALL WILL BE WELL. We'll all be swimming in cash including our athletic dept.

The first 4 years didn't count and as someone just stated, it's all Bush's fault along with the other BAD presidents over the past few decades, at least according to OBAMA.

And we must take Obama's word as he would never lie to the American public.

LOL Their new claim is he he inherited an economy that had been going down for 2 decades. Wasn't their Golden Boy Bill President during 8 of those years???

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to jobrando#216494:

and it's still Bush's fault

It's every President's fault unless you go back as far as Nixon..Before that only Andrew Jackson completely paid off our national debt..I know you were being cynical referring to Bush, but really what did he do for crying out loud?? I'm not impressed with any of them, especially the one in office now..Just a thought.

Vol43 writes:

in response to laraccoon:

do a little research on congressional partisanship . the president has a lot less power than most people think and until those clowns do their job no president will look favorable .Obama doesnt have bad ideas , he just isnt getting any help ,and unfortunately its the american people who suffer .

And there you have it ladies and genlemen, another look into the political scene of America brought to you by GoVols, your leader in all things political. Please stay tuned for a spirited debate between the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Daffy Duck.

AllforTenn writes:

in response to brauhuff#295403:

Fans that do not want Dooley to succeed are fair weather fans and useless. People that do not want The President to succeed are Un American and useless

Agree as to supporting the Vols, but supporting "The President" is not necessarily supporting the United States.

tovolny writes:

The AD office and the man heading it up should be judged on how well the ATHLETICS are doing. The fiscal shinola will take care of itself if the ATHLETICS are challenging for championships. I can hardly believe we are messing around with things like Peyton Manning Scholarships. LEAVE THIS ALONE.

If Hart is like the Democrats, he'll just raise ticket prices. If he is like the Republicans, he will give his buddies and himself a raise. He needs to concentrate on what he can do to improve the ON-THE-FIELD performance of the football, basketball, LadyVol basketball, along with the other sports.

I say fill the seats by providing people and kids that can't afford today's prices free seats. I am talking about letting any kid and his parents come to a game if the kid is involved in any way with playing football. I remember when I was kid, the first time I went to a game in Neyland Stadium was with the 4-H Club. The game was against Chattanooga, but we were an exited bunch of kids seeing the players, the band, and experiencing a college football atmosphere.

What I am saying is: "bring back common sense" and "make things happen."

eb502us#225637 writes:

in response to laraccoon:

do a little research on congressional partisanship . the president has a lot less power than most people think and until those clowns do their job no president will look favorable .Obama doesnt have bad ideas , he just isnt getting any help ,and unfortunately its the american people who suffer .

Ok...research completed.

Obama had two years with a majority in the House and Senate and we still continue to go backward with his "not so bad ideas".

I appreciate that you are a Vol fan, but when the game is over, please crawl back under that liberal rock from where you came.

BTW, if Obama was our AD, he'd be taxing our seasonal ticket holders for having all this discretionary income to buy tickets. At least Hart is trying to take some fiscal responsibility and slash the budget without raising prices, an idea and process Obama knows nothing about.

NYvolFan writes:

in response to eb502us#225637:

Just give Obama and the Dems another 4 years AND ALL WILL BE WELL. We'll all be swimming in cash including our athletic dept.

The first 4 years didn't count and as someone just stated, it's all Bush's fault along with the other BAD presidents over the past few decades, at least according to OBAMA.

And we must take Obama's word as he would never lie to the American public.

With 4 more years of Obama they'll need to change our name to "The United Socialists of America". The USA will cooked forever. Get the Muslim out in November!

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to tovolny:

The AD office and the man heading it up should be judged on how well the ATHLETICS are doing. The fiscal shinola will take care of itself if the ATHLETICS are challenging for championships. I can hardly believe we are messing around with things like Peyton Manning Scholarships. LEAVE THIS ALONE.

If Hart is like the Democrats, he'll just raise ticket prices. If he is like the Republicans, he will give his buddies and himself a raise. He needs to concentrate on what he can do to improve the ON-THE-FIELD performance of the football, basketball, LadyVol basketball, along with the other sports.

I say fill the seats by providing people and kids that can't afford today's prices free seats. I am talking about letting any kid and his parents come to a game if the kid is involved in any way with playing football. I remember when I was kid, the first time I went to a game in Neyland Stadium was with the 4-H Club. The game was against Chattanooga, but we were an exited bunch of kids seeing the players, the band, and experiencing a college football atmosphere.

What I am saying is: "bring back common sense" and "make things happen."

Now listen here you darm Yankee....eruhhhh
well ok all that you said makes sense.

GerryOP writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

It's every President's fault unless you go back as far as Nixon..Before that only Andrew Jackson completely paid off our national debt..I know you were being cynical referring to Bush, but really what did he do for crying out loud?? I'm not impressed with any of them, especially the one in office now..Just a thought.

Bipolar, what did he do? I don't want to get into a useless political scramble, but I'll never forget W's most famous words... "I'm the decider ... I decide things." Even his daddy winced at that one!

I guess we could paraphrase that historic comment for the current resident of 1600 PA Avenue... "I'm the changer ... I change things."

Like you, I'm not impressed with any of them.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to GerryOP:

Bipolar, what did he do? I don't want to get into a useless political scramble, but I'll never forget W's most famous words... "I'm the decider ... I decide things." Even his daddy winced at that one!

I guess we could paraphrase that historic comment for the current resident of 1600 PA Avenue... "I'm the changer ... I change things."

Like you, I'm not impressed with any of them.

Now that was funny..Thx, Gerry..

DonK37920 writes:

in response to SevenT:

Hopefully the trend of empty seats will cost the AD office and they will get rid of Dooley for not selling tickets.

So you want to wait 3 more years for yet another coach to turn our program around? At some point we go with what we got. And last weekend wasn't bad. I wonder what you will be saying after we beat the Gators?

DonK37920 writes:

in response to brauhuff#295403:

Fans that do not want Dooley to succeed are fair weather fans and useless. People that do not want The President to succeed are Un American and useless

Agree completely! I've wanted Obama to succeed and turn the economy for 4 years and he didn't! Probably his severe lack of experience managing, running a business, working outside of a government supported entity etc... Now it's time to give someone else a shot and everyone who is American should get behind Romney! All Americans should hope Romney succeeds after he takes office! Great Post brauhuff!

RoadTrip writes:

in response to eb502us#225637:

Ok...research completed.

Obama had two years with a majority in the House and Senate and we still continue to go backward with his "not so bad ideas".

I appreciate that you are a Vol fan, but when the game is over, please crawl back under that liberal rock from where you came.

BTW, if Obama was our AD, he'd be taxing our seasonal ticket holders for having all this discretionary income to buy tickets. At least Hart is trying to take some fiscal responsibility and slash the budget without raising prices, an idea and process Obama knows nothing about.

Couldn't say it any better myself.

Even the lib fact checkers ran out of room correcting his lies from the Thursday night speech. A simple check of the wallet says gas costs twice as much from when he started, there are many more of my friends and neighbors and family looking for work, I continue to count scores of foreclosures in the papers every week, and the $16 T debt clock keeps ticking and going up every year. It's really not that hard to understand.

It applies to UTAD in that those paying the freight at UT are getting tapped out and that will severely affect our Vols. I wish Hart much success as he is setting a good example for our government to follow.

FWBVol writes:

in response to SevenT:

Hopefully the trend of empty seats will cost the AD office and they will get rid of Dooley for not selling tickets.

OK, Kentucky boy, don't worry about Tennessee. You have enough concerns with your Cats.

Unless this season is a complete disaster Derek Dooley isn't going anywhere. An athletic department trying to get the budget under control is not going to fire a coach and have to make another multi million dollar contract buyout.

Navaloranges writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

There is no end to your stupidity. If you knew what you were talking about you would know the current status has nothing to do with Coach Dooley.

Well there you go, seventeen has never known what she's talking about.

Vol43 writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Now that was funny..Thx, Gerry..

Hey BB, you ready for some Big Orange Football? I know I am! 4-0 going into Athens! It's on bro.!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to Vol43:

Hey BB, you ready for some Big Orange Football? I know I am! 4-0 going into Athens! It's on bro.!

H3LL to the YES!!
GBO!!!

Snapshot writes:

in response to SevenT:

Hopefully the trend of empty seats will cost the AD office and they will get rid of Dooley for not selling tickets.

Suggest removal...get rid of this clown KNS

Snapshot writes:

in response to EightLetters:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

eightletters - I'm a moron

laraccoon writes:

in response to eb502us#225637:

Ok...research completed.

Obama had two years with a majority in the House and Senate and we still continue to go backward with his "not so bad ideas".

I appreciate that you are a Vol fan, but when the game is over, please crawl back under that liberal rock from where you came.

BTW, if Obama was our AD, he'd be taxing our seasonal ticket holders for having all this discretionary income to buy tickets. At least Hart is trying to take some fiscal responsibility and slash the budget without raising prices, an idea and process Obama knows nothing about.

yea i guess youre right , things were much better when George Bush was president and Rumsfeld was running things in Iraq and the entire banking system was on the brink of collapsing , things are much worse now . Try reading the entire newspaper sometime and not just the sports section .

govolsn3 writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

Yep, you said enough alright, enough to prove you are an idiot.

How does my comment make out to be an idiot. I have you know that I have supported the University of Tennessee as we as my entire family through money contributions for over 40 years. I was a season ticket holder for all but the last 3 years, and I have been to too many to count bowl games and away games through out. I love the VOLS and BLLED ORANGE and the only point that I was making that in this economy I refuse to go watch a game like this one today but I would be there if it was UNC or a meaningful game. You my friend need to read your bible about the story of who should cast out the first stone. THe stadium would be packed full if the TARHEELS were in town. It is untelling how many of their fans would have come no farther of a drive than it is. As for you GTH. GO VOLS VFL

laraccoon writes:

in response to Vol43:

And there you have it ladies and genlemen, another look into the political scene of America brought to you by GoVols, your leader in all things political. Please stay tuned for a spirited debate between the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Daffy Duck.

gentlemen

RockVegas writes:

Bottom line when your team wins,you never hear about money problems.I know you guys get tired of me bringing up Alabama,but before Saban got there they couldn't give tickets away...LOL.Now look at them,and I hate it too but hey,they went out and got the best in the business and paid him top dollar.They have won alot of games and Championships so I know they have made his money back and then some.I hope he retires soon,but if he was to ask Bama for 10 million a year,he just might get it,because they know he will come threw time and time again.I can't believe i just said that....GBO.

govolsn3 writes:

I got so upset that I forgot to proof read that last comment. Sorry for the miss spelling. GO VOLS

arkyvol writes:

concessions at the movies and athletic arenas are one step this side of stick up artists. but the patrons sit still for it. i can go cold turkey for 2-3 hours and get a far better bargain at almost any mid level restaurant.

underthehill writes:

in response to JayTee:

It's simple economics they have priced them selves off the market.

The size of the seats have been reduced while tickets have tripled in price after a minimum donation depending where you are seated.

Also the concessions are way over priced. The price of a bottle of water was reduced from $4.00 to $3.00. You can buy a case at Walmart for $5.00.

It's not Dooley's fault or lack of winning because I can remember the stadium being packed back when Majors had losing seasons.

It's just pure and simple greed of ripping off the fans and now they are suffering the consequences of their actions.

Out of conference single game tickets are $45.00, in conference single game tickets range from $50.00 for KY to $80.00 for FL, BAMA hasn't been set yet.

I believe you have nailed the primary cause for reduced attendance..along with simple economics you have..resentment of being bribed to donate more or have your tickets moved to a less desirable location..parking .. concession prices..the seat size ..or lack thereof is unreasonable..buying tickets to games like the one today as part of the season ticket package..all play a part in reducing what should be a pleasant experience..

gc_scvol writes:

in response to Vol43:

And there you have it ladies and genlemen, another look into the political scene of America brought to you by GoVols, your leader in all things political. Please stay tuned for a spirited debate between the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Daffy Duck.

LMAO..Good Post..Wrong site for Political BS. KNS should remove everything political when it is posted. But, then they would be accused of actually policing their own site rather than trying to get as many hits as possible, no matter how lame the posts are.

gc_scvol writes:

in response to EightLetters:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Go away troll. Nobody cares about you or KY jelly roundball. IT'S FOOTBALL TIME IN TENNESSEE.

WetumpkaThumpa writes:

We are still feeling the effects of Mike Hamilton. Wasn't he praised for his ability to handle the Business/Economics side of the Athletic Department? THE WRATH OF HAMILTON WILL BE FELT FOR THE NEXT 20 YEARS. What a failure.

WetumpkaThumpa writes:

in response to EightLetters:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Congrats on the Wildcat Lodge...Maybe Calipari can buy you guys some football players?

chuckfromwoodberry writes:

in response to underthehill:

I believe you have nailed the primary cause for reduced attendance..along with simple economics you have..resentment of being bribed to donate more or have your tickets moved to a less desirable location..parking .. concession prices..the seat size ..or lack thereof is unreasonable..buying tickets to games like the one today as part of the season ticket package..all play a part in reducing what should be a pleasant experience..

Excellent points. I arrive early enough to park free on the street in the Ft. Sanders area. I eat and drink at one of the establishments on The Strip. I buy my tickets from scalpers. I never pay face value unless it's a Florida/Bama type opponent, then you probably will pay more than face value.

Scoon writes:

in response to gc_scvol:

LMAO..Good Post..Wrong site for Political BS. KNS should remove everything political when it is posted. But, then they would be accused of actually policing their own site rather than trying to get as many hits as possible, no matter how lame the posts are.

43, you just gonna sit bac & take this??

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