Monday, January 28, 2013

Report: University of Tennessee Drowning in Debt


Who says that all college sports teams are responsible with their money? For that matter the University of Tennessee may personify why they are all constantly seeking fatter and fatter TV deals.

In today's Sports Business Journal, there's a report saying the state run "Flagship" university is over $200 million in debt.

Yes, $200 million.

The University apparently has a $99.5 million dollar athletic budget and $13 million of it goes towards their $21 million a year in debt payment.

Hmmmm....we're guessing they struggled with accounting over there in Knoxville.

Read the entire SBJ as told by Michael Smith RIGHT HERE

The list of reasons for this is pretty damn long. From former Athletic Director Mike Hamilton's penchant for hiring coaches like Lane Kiffin, Derek Dooley and others whom they still owe money to, to an extravagant spending spree on upgraded facilities like a $50 million athletic center, the Vols have been apparently dishing it out much better than they've been taking it.

It doesn't help that the underperforming football team is hemorrhaging fans at 109,000 plus seat Neyland Stadium, which also has been recently remodeled.

The school is counting heavily on the SEC football deal to be updated in the very near future. And yeah, that will probably help. But if you really think that college football is a "Well-Run" business, you'd be wrong.

Part of the whole realignment issue is schools that have overspent trying to pay off their debts. Schools like Maryland who are also have major debt issues moved from a charter ACC Membership to the Big 10 for one reason and one reason only: More TV Money to pay off their debts.

Somewhere, somehow this has to stop. We don't know how, but it does. When the financial system is set up to benefit a few schools, it kills the others struggling to keep up. It's created a sharper line of have's and have nots. And the have nots want nothing more than to play with the big boys. The problem is, if they do it haphazardly like, say, Tennessee, they end up with mountains of debt.

Maybe it will take a "Big Name" football team shutting down due to bankruptcy. Maybe it will take a bank foreclosing on a palatial "Athletic Building" to wake people up. Though more than likely, nothing will change. Nothing will change because there is far too much TV money involved and as long as ESPN keeps paying major conferences billions of dollars for TV deals, everything will stay as it is now.

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