Committee to evaluate finances of football program next week

By Collegian News Staff

Maria Uminski/Collegian

A committee formed to assess the costs associated with the football program’s move to the Football Bowl Subdivision will present a report to the University’s Faculty Senate next week evaluating the program’s budget from its inaugural season in the league.

The committee — which is composed of 19 members representing the faculty, administration and student body — was established by the Faculty Senate in December of last year with the aim of regularly reviewing the program’s finances. The report presented at next week’s meeting will be the first one issued by the committee since its formation.

Preliminary figures compiled by the athletic department from this past season – which was the program’s first in the league – show that expenses associated with the program totaled $7,160,339 while revenue streams, which include funding from the state and University, came in at $6,445,271. That means that the program is currently carrying a $715,068 deficit – a figure that Athletic Director John McCutcheon has largely attributed to a lag in ticket sales at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, the team’s home field.

The football program’s decision to jump to the FBS in the Mid-American Conference has drawn fire from some faculty members — who have contended that it’s a move that will require more University funding for the program — since it was announced in April of 2011. The program, which had a 1-11 record this past season, was previously a member of the Football Championship Subdivision in the Colonial Athletic Association.

The full report by the committee will be presented to the Faculty Senate Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. in Herter 227.