News, Top Story, Athletics

Financial Losses for BC Basketball, Hockey Worsen In 2013-14 Season

Profits for Boston College men’s basketball, women’s basketball, and men’s hockey all dramatically decreased in the 2013-14 season, while football profits increased slightly compared to the 2012-13 season, according to the University’s Equity in Athletics Data Report. The data was released Wednesday from the U.S. Department of Education, which reports financial information for all institutions that receive federal funding for athletics.

The report also revealed that, while the salaries of men’s teams coaches at BC are in line with other Atlantic Coast Conference schools, women’s coaches are paid well below any other program in the conference.

Moreover, the report’s details on financial aid show significant discrepancies between the aid paid to female athletes compared to male athletes at BC and most other schools in the 15-member ACC.

Having lost in the first round of last year’s Frozen Four to Union College, the men’s hockey team’s net losses increased from the 2012-13 season, which totaled around $662,000. The team increased revenue by nine percent, but expenses jumped to $4.28 million, a 32 percent increase. In total, the program lost $1.46 million in 2013-14, 120 percent greater than the season before.

The women’s basketball program represented a major financial loss for BC athletics. Revenue jumped to $220,000, yet the program still finished last in that category by a wide margin in the ACC. In addition, expenses increased $200,000 from 2012-13, leading to a net loss in 2013-14 of $2.77 million. BC women’s basketball still ranks towards the middle of the ACC in terms of net losses from the sport, sitting 25 percent above the conference average.

The men’s basketball team had the most notable decrease of BC’s sports. Last year, BC turned in its worst men’s basketball season since 1998-99, putting up only eight wins and forcing Steve Donahue out of a job. The losses, however, occurred just as much off the court as they did on it. The team’s revenue remained virtually the same as in 2012-13, standing at $5.45 million—122 percent behind the ACC average revenue of $12.15 million.

Overall, men’s basketball took a hit in terms of profit. The team turned a $895,000 profit in 2012-13. However, the program spent about $7.12 million in 2013-14, a 64 percent jump from the previous season. BC incurred these expenses as a result of far more road games in 2013-14, playing five out-of-state non-conference games as opposed to only one in 2012-13. This ultimately resulted in a net loss of $1.68 million, the second lowest figure in the ACC. BC leads only the University of Notre Dame in this category.

BC football remained the school’s most profitable sport by a wide margin, taking in $4.1 million. Revenue increased slightly, rising 4.6 percent from 2012-13 levels, while expenses remained virtually the same. Nevertheless, BC’s returns from football pales in comparison to the ACC average of $14.22 million. BC surpassed only Wake Forest University in football income—however, six ACC schools turned in profits of less than $10 million. Notre Dame led the conference, with profits reaching $47 million.

BC’s revenue and expenses for each sport totaled about $65.2 million. For the fourth consecutive year, BC did not report a profit from its athletics programs, joining Wake, Duke University, the University of Miami, and the University of Maryland-College Park as ACC schools that did not report a profit in 2013-14 season.

Breck Wills / Heights Graphic

BC no longer reports institutional support from team revenue for all ticketed sports, allowing men’s basketball, women’s basketball, men’s hockey, and football to reveal the true profit figures. In contrast, non-ticketed BC sports do not report revenue and expenses without including institutional support—that means BC reports that all sports apart from those four broke even, regardless of the actual loss each incurred. This is the third year BC has done this and the second under Director of Athletics Brad Bates.

The Department of Education asks for schools to report all financial data from June 1, 2013 to May 31, 2014 no later than October 15, 2014. Schools are not required to report the information at any point before then.

The report also reveals that BC pays the head coaches of its women’s varsity teams the lowest amount in the ACC. BC has the most female varsity sports in the ACC but pays its coaches about $87,000 on average—$38,000 less than Wake, the next closest school. This figure stands at just about half the $174,000 average of the 15-team conference.

Meanwhile, head coaches of men’s varsity teams at BC across its 12 teams received $460,000 in average salary, 430 percent higher than the head coaches of women’s teams. The men’s teams coaches’ salaries represent a 31 percent, or about $110,000, increase from their figures the previous year. BC also rose in the rankings from second lowest to fifth lowest average salary among men’s coaches in the ACC, going from 57 to 32 percent below the conference average.

Without duplication across sports, men accounted for 338 varsity athletes at BC, while women total 382. BC continues to provide far more financial aid to male athletes than female athletes. Although BC provides the highest total of financial aid to female athletes in the ACC, at $8.27 million, Athletics has the second most female varsity athletes in the conference.

On average, BC provides about $21,500 in aid per female athlete, compared to about $28,000 per male athlete. This continues a steady increase over the last several years in the gap between aid for men and women. In 2012-13, 10 of the 15 schools in the ACC gave more aid to female athletes than to male athletes on average. Last year, however, only four schools—North Carolina State University, Syracuse University, Virginia Tech, and Wake—gave more on average to their female athletes than to their male athletes.

BC Athletics did not immediately return requests for comment on the data.

Featured Image by Emily Fahey / Heights Editor

December 11, 2014