Athletics department breaks down budget

The UNA athletics department has an overall budget of over $4 million provided by the university. This budget is separate from the athletic fee budget, which comes from the athletic fee students pay.

“This money here (in the overall athletic budget) that they’re allowed to spend comes from state appropriation, tuition and fees, and any other kind of revenue like ticket sales and things like that,” said Steve Smith, vice president of business and financial affairs at UNA.

The overall athletic budget contains a total of $4,588,264 and does not include the athletic fee budget of $65,900. Smith said the budget pays for salaries, scholarships and various purchases.

“If you go in and just look and see what that amount (of scholarships, salaries and benefits) is, you’re going to see that’s probably 80 percent of it,” Smith said. “Travel would be another pretty good-sized budget.”

The budget includes all of the different sports, in addition to budgets for the ticket office and other athletic departments. It is broken down as follows:

$891,000 goes into the athletic director’s budget, $59,051 is for the ticket office, $89,177 for stadium operations, $26,622 for game operations, $187,111 for the training room, $26,022 for the equipment manager, $154,811 for the sports information director, $18,344 for cheerleaders, $21,344 for post-season travel, $1,062,806 for football, $283,088 for baseball, $329,925 for men’s basketball, $103,535 for golf, $207,863 for tennis, $119,537 for cross country, $307,196 for women’s basketball, $235,038 for softball, $244,493 for volleyball and $221,092 for soccer.

The budget does not include current fundraising efforts. Smith said the athletic department will bring whatever funds it raises to him at the end of the year, and he will adjust the budget accordingly for the following year.

The athletics department is currently raising money to go toward the Division I movement, as well as gearing up for its yearly fundraising. The athletic department has raised $2.4 million in pledges and cash out of its goal of $3 million toward the D-I move, said Director of Athletics Mark Linder.

Linder also said the department has seen an increase in money giving since Bobby Wallace’s arrival on campus.

“Bobby … is well thought of within this community, and I think that will only assist us as we pursue the fundraising goals that were set before us,” Linder said.

The biggest goal for the athletics department in the move to D-I is to create an academic space for UNA athletes, Linder said. He said 132 student athletes had a 3.2 or higher last semester and believes an academic space can make that number even higher.

In terms of facilities overall, Linder said there are not immediate needs, though he would like to improve some facilities to aid in recruiting and to enhance athletes’ experience at UNA.

“We just want to make sure that our student athletes have the facilities that will allow them to compete at a high level,” Linder said.

Linder said the department would like to dress up the tennis facilities, upgrade the basketball and volleyball locker rooms and repair the drainage system at the softball fields. Linder said there are no current plans for a new football stadium.

The department is also looking into building a golf practice facility on the Robert Trent Jones trail with a donation the team recently received approximately $180,000.

Linder said his main focus is to enhance the experience for athletes at UNA.

“Just making sure that we’re doing all we can to provide a great experience for our student athletes is critical,” Linder said.