The athletics budget at UCSD is distributed mainly between team operations, personnel and scholarships. Team operations are comprised of travel, recruiting, team apparel, equipment, game expenses, and other activities. The following data taken from the Equity in Athletics Data Analysis (EADA), the task force final report after the Division I referendum, and other open sources provide statistics on how the funding is divided.
The Division I Fact-Finding Task Force Final Report of April 2016 shows that the budget of $8.8 million was evenly split between team operations (47.7 percent) and personnel (48.9 percent), while a smaller fraction went to scholarships (3.41 percent).
The EADA details the precise distribution of funds within the UCSD athletic department in 2015. The data also indicates that both the expenses and revenues for almost all EADA-defined categories – coaching and staffing salaries, recruiting, and operating and team expenses – tend to be higher for men’s teams.
Recruiting expenses for all men’s teams amounted to $71,679 while women’s teams spent $52,504.
The highest operating game-day expense for all men’s team was $157,889 for baseball and the lowest was $40,813 for tennis. The highest expense per participant was $8,441 for golf and the lowest was $2,008 for rowing.
The highest operating game-day expenses for all women’s teams was $130,642 for all track combined and the lowest was $30,434 for tennis. The highest expensesper participant was $7,908 for basketball and the lowest was $1,365 for rowing.
Student aid is one of the few categories in which women’s teams had more funding. In 2015, the student aid expenses totaled $161,014 for men’s teams and $186,400 for women’s teams.
The data further reveals that UCSD is outperformed by other Division I UCs in their annual expenses and revenues of practically all the EADA-categories. For example, the operating expenses of men’s basketball totaled $92,023 at UCSD, while UC Irvine spent $568,581.
Wendy Taylor May, the Deputy Director of Athletics at UCSD, provided all the reports to the Guardian and spoke about the recent attempts at transitioning to Division I and the funding differences.
“The area of the largest difference from our current funding is in scholarships,” she stated.
In the Division I Fact-Finding Task Force Final Report, a financial model based on two-year average revenue and expense data from other Big West Conference schools shows that UCSD spent $300,000 on scholarships, while the Division I two-year average was $6,000,000 between 2012 and 2014.
A student referendum back in May 2016 demonstrated that UCSD students were ready to close the financial gap. 70 percent of the student body – out of 8,828 ballots cast – voted in favor of a potential twofold increase of the Intercollegiate Athletics (ICA) student activity fee to shoulder the Division I transitioning costs.
The report anticipates an increase in athletic scholarship funding – up to 58 percent of the new funds taken primarily from the projected ICA student fees – if UCSD were to enter the Big West Conference.
Deputy Director May also indicated that the UCSD athletics department is not underfunded at its current stage of Division II. EADA statistics show that the grand total expenses for all teams in 2015 were $10,054,431 while the grand total revenue was $11,181,178.
She emphasized other infrastructural priorities such as community and student development, alumni engagement, and the diversity initiative.
In the 2015-2016 Annual Report for UCSD athletics, Director of Athletics Earl Edwards further celebrates the achievements by focusing on the academic accomplishments of the student-athletes.
“With academics being the top priority of our department, over 55 percent of student-athletes earned a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, placing them on the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll,” he stated.
In fact, the report also confirms this – student-athletes graduated at a higher rate (90 percent) than the general student body (87 percent).
UCSD was one of 26 NCAA Division II institutions to earn a 2016 Presidents’ Award for Academic Excellence for its academic achievements. It retained a four-year Academic Success Rate (ASR) of 90 percent or higher.