Interesting story that we came across this morning from the folks at Vice Sports. The story--written by Andy Schwarz, talks about the demise of UAB football and how the financial numbers were spun to make it look like the school was losing money.
And if you read the whole thing, it explains a lot.
Schwarz talks in detail about the CarrSports report, which UAB president Ray Watts used as his excuse/reason for dropping football.
The Carr report talked about cost and revenues going up, but as Schwarz rightly points out, it assumes a rise in costs that don't actually exist. Rather, those "increased" costs are primarily just the school charging itself for something that does not in the real world cost themselves anything. A school does not "bring in" money from a scholarship athlete, but there's no cost involved either because the student is there. If so, the billing is just "Charging themselves" for the classes said student attends.
Think about it for a second.
How can a school say they are losing money on something they don't actually pay for?
Read the full story from Vice Sports RIGHT HERE, it explains a lot.
Yes, we have done budgeting before and we fully understand that expenses are given and taken from different budgets. It's done for tax and accounting purposes. We know that. And we know the cost of buying equipment, building facilities and travel expenses add up. But in this case, the cost appears to be covered.
Numbers...or expenses/costs are amazing things, particularly for organizations or businesses that bring in large amounts of money. You can shuffle things around, charge yourself for things if you need to. And claim it as an expense.
It's a legitimate claim, businesses do it all the time.
Here's an example for you: We spent some time working at CNN in our past. CNN is a rather large organization with multiple show teams that all work for the same company. But the show teams, if they wanted a live shot or video from an affiliate, were billed for the cost of acquiring it.
Mind you the money came from the same place. But it was billed to the show team.
Yes, a separate budget.
Trust us when we say it is complicated. But it's all in how you spin it too.
The point here is much simpler. UAB, if they so chose, could easily justify the cost of football if that was in their best interest. The money that appears to be coming in is money they "Technically" is enough to cover what they "out of pocket" are spending.
Yes, we know, it's a different budget. But as Schwarz points out and rightfully so, UAB is looking to grow. Yet it cut it's highest profile PR arm. And that will lose them a very profitable conference affiliation. They will not be able to stay in Conference USA without football.
But the state Board of Trustees is willing to live with that. The reason: It ends the vendetta that certain members had against the Blazers. It gets rid of any potential competition from a school that had a chance at becoming just that.
It meant something had to give. And in this case it was the UAB Blazers football team.