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    Tuesday, November 28, 2023

    UConn reports athletics generated $47 million of $82.3 million in latest budget

    UConn athletic director David Benedict released an annual report for the first time on Wednesday, saying the athletic department generated $47 million of $82.3 million in its latest budget. (AP File Photo)

    The UConn athletic department on Wednesday applied some numbers of an improved financial situation, releasing for the first time an annual report that highlights numerous "points of pride."

    The Huskies in 2022-23 ran 21 athletics programs on a budget of $82.3 million, down from $89.7 million the previous year despite increases in costs to operations and payroll.

    In a letter included with the report's release, athletic director David Benedict wrote that UConn self-generate $47 million in fiscal year 2023 and that "UConn's investments in Athletics reflect the unique strength that an athletic program can have in building global awareness for our institution, generating alumni and donor support, interest among prospective students, and raising the overall profile of the university nationally and globally."

    UConn, a member of the Big East for most sports and independent in football, was considered for Big 12 membership in recent months but an invitation never came. The Huskies continue to spend and compete and elite levels, largely with the support of an annual university subsidy typically exceeding $40 million.

    The projected university subsidy — more financials will be released in January — has been reduced by about $20 million from last year, when it reached $55 million due to a one-time payment of $13 million to former men's basketball coach Kevin Ollie.

    "Many of the peer institutions UConn competes with on the national stage, such as those in the Power 5, enjoy significant revenues from conference-related television contracts," Benedict wrote. "Television-generated revenue represents a large annual financial inflow and generally allows university support to be more modest at those institutions. At this point UConn receives approximately $4 million from our media partners vs. the Power 5 media contracts that range from $30-$65 million. As such, the combination of self-generated revenues and university investment has been critical in allowing us to continue to compete for national championships in multiple programs, including men's and women's basketball, while also supporting our 19 other teams which contend for conference titles and compete on a regional or national championship stage."

    UConn says it spends about $4 million to play some high-profile games off campus — basketball and hockey games at the XL Center in Hartford, football at Rentschler Field in East Hartford — and sacrifices about $7.5 million in lost revenue through the arrangement.

    The report, highly detailed, celebrates many accomplishments, such as the men's basketball national championship and the eight Big East championships won across the board last year, academic success, student-athlete diversity and commitments to mental health and sports medicine. The report states that total donors increased by 59 percent, to 7,257, for a total gift commitment of $27.9 million.

    UConn athletics also, the report points out, generates approximately $150 million in statewide economic output, and generates 725 jobs and $64.1 million in income.

    UConn announced that its student-athletes average more money per deal in the space of name, image and likeness than any school in the nation, an achievement likely headed by women's basketball player Paige Bueckers. UConn, the report says, is fourth nationally in total NIL compensation. By the end of fiscal year 2023, 124 UConn student-athletes had used Opendorse, a partnership platform, for 372 NIL deals.

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