By Rob Moseley
Financial information regarding revenues and expenses for Division I programs in 2012-13, published this week by USA Today, illustrated the robust growth of Oregon athletics, though they painted a somewhat inaccurate picture for the Ducks in that specific year.
The UO athletic department reported revenues of $115,241,070 for 2012-13, against expenses of $94,972,708. While that pencils out as a substantial accounting profit, nearly all of it is represented by in-kind capital gifts and other items that didn't impact cash profitability in 2012-13.
Of that listed profit of some $20 million, about $18 million stemmed from one-time in-kind donations and former head football coach Chip Kelly’s contract buyout upon leaving the Ducks to coach the Philadelphia Eagles.
Kelly’s buyout was for $3.5 million, all of which was recognized as revenue in 2012-13 even though $3.1 million will not actually be collected by the athletic department until future years. The revenues from 2012-13 also reflect about $14.5 million from the donation of Pape Field to the soccer and lacrosse programs, and the new football practice fields outside the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex.
Excluding those revenues and a handful of other, much smaller items, athletic department revenue exceeded expenses by about $200,000 in 2012-13, the department reported under terms of the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act. (See comment 55 on page 16)
Oregon’s reported profits for 2012-13 jumped by about $21 million over the previous year, which again can be explained by the transactions described above. A similar jump occurred in 2010, due to the donation of the Jaqua Center, and another is anticipated for 2013-14 when accounting for the completed Hatfield-Dowlin Complex.
USA Today reported that Oregon received a subsidy of around $2.3 million from the university for 2012-13, made up of sports lottery funds (45 percent of which are transfered by athletics to the university) and student incidental fees that cover football and men’s basketball tickets – but no direct institutional support to athletics. That figure represents 2.03 percent of the Ducks’ athletic revenues, 217th out of the 230 public schools listed in the report, or 14th lowest.