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Sun Sentinel...I'm disappointed

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Sun Sentinel...I'm disappointed

I used to like Ted Hutton >:(
I can't believe how biased these articles are and how they never discuss the costs of a new upstart program. You can't compare established state programs to a startup! Period!
I sent him an email already.


FAU, FIU students bankroll athletics


Fees at the two universities will pay 73 percent of sports budgets.

By Ted Hutton
Staff Writer
Posted April 1 2005

Students are funding athletic departments at Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University at a rate that far exceeds the national average for Division I-A schools.

Under the budget plan revealed Tuesday, FAU students would pay $7.9 million of the school's $10.87 million athletic budget, or 73 percent. At FIU, student fees provide $10.1 million of this year's $13.8 million athletic budget, also 73 percent.

"That is unusually high, and the magnitude concerns me," said Daniel Fulks, who compiles an NCAA annual report, Revenues and Expenses of Intercollegiate Athletics.

The national average is about 5 percent, he said.

"Student athletic fees are a very political animal," Fulks said. "It's hidden tuition."

FAU's Board of Trustees is expected to approve a 17 percent increase in the athletic fee, from $11.75 to $13.75 per credit hour. That puts the bill for athletic fees at $330 a year for a full-time student taking 24 credit hours and makes FAU's athletic fee the highest in the state.

The higher fees would add $1.2 million to the athletic budget, which is expected to be short $1.7 million this year and owes about $2 million from the two previous years.

"The schools that are making money are getting revenue from lots of different sources, like tickets, bowl games, men's basketball. And I don't see FAU doing any of that," Fulks said.

Ticket sales provide an average of 27 percent of revenue at I-A schools, while FAU expects to get 3 percent next year.

The average I-A school gets 18 percent of its money for athletics from private donations, while FAU projects receiving 3 percent next year.

"I've never seen a budget like this. How long can you expect to be able to get the kids to support that program?" Fulks said.

While students at FAU and FIU were providing the majority of athletic funds before the two schools added football, that sport forced them to raise fees in recent years. FAU began playing in 2001, FIU in 2002.

The programs at each school cost about $3 million and revenues have fallen far short of that.

More realistic revenue projections have kept FIU out of debt, while FAU went into the red after failing to meet revenue targets that proved to be wildly optimistic.

But both schools have tapped into the only reliable revenue stream available, the students.

"It's not fair to students, but there was nobody else to take on the burden," said Helen Marshall, an FAU student who sat on the nine-member committee that recommended the fee increase be approved. "You have no idea how miserable I have been over this."

The committee, headed by Athletic Director Craig Angelos, had four student representatives and four other administrators.

"It was clear to us the president and trustees were absolutely committed to football," Marshall said.

"Whether I want it or not doesn't mean anything. We felt we had to come to a compromise."

Angelos said, "Increasing the fee was something we wanted to avoid, but after reviewing our options, it was the only thing we could do in the short term."

Marshall said the compromise included a pledge that after three years the university would back out of the fee increase over a four-year period.

"We said we weren't giving any more, and that it should be reduced when the crisis is over," Marshall said.

"This is supposed to be a win-win, but so far it hasn't been."

Angelos and FIU Athletic Director Rick Mello say their goal is to reduce the percentage of student funding as quickly as possible.

"I have a huge debt of gratitude to our students. If they hadn't supported us, football would not have been possible," Mello said.

After listening to Angelos' three-year budget plan, FAU Trustee Norman Tripp acknowledged the status of the students for the athletic department.

"They are paying most of it now. It is theirs," Tripp said.

That is why, Tripp said, football must survive.

"At the end of the day, if we don't make it successful, then we have to tell all those students their money was a waste," Tripp said.

Ted Hutton can be reached at [email protected]

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Sun Sentinel...I'm disappointed

The key word is SHORT TERM. These guys that doom and gloom before it has a chance to work. Damn its almost like they want failure.
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Sun Sentinel...I'm disappointed

C'mon the news always looks for the bad stuff to publicize. If everything is going well, they don't know what to do with themselves. ..we interrupt this story with news of a gunfight, or people found dead, or gang violence…fill in the blank. The news people suck!!
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Sun Sentinel...I'm disappointed

Yea the news seems to like to dwell one our budget pitfalls. Im dissapointed also, they dont help our situation. When people talk to me about FAU it always seems to start out "so FAU isnt doing so well, huh?" the media has been killing us as far as supporters.
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Sun Sentinel...I'm disappointed

The opinion one guy who has been in news for more than 35 years: We may not like the content of some of the columns (opinion of the identified writer) or news stories (relating facts), but we should recognize that it is not their job to promote FAU programs (or any others). If we catch them in factual efforts (getting game results wrong, for example), we have something. Otherwise, we really don't.

We also should remember the amount and quality of attention and space FAU football received in years one and two, especially, when we had such a small (though loyal) following. All in all, we have been treated pretty well by the Sun-Sentinel, Post and Herald, as well as the Treasure Coast papers (Stuart, Ft. Pierce and Vero Beach). (I don't see the Boca News site, so I cannot say anything about it.)

As for the papers liking negative news: Not really. The papers are the messengers; they provide, in large part, what the public wants. And the public loves this stuff.

I don't speak for anyone else on this board, of course. But I am of the strong opinion that problems and challenges cannot be resolved until they are identified. So I say, go ahead an identify them, and we'll resolve them.

Hint: If a columnist (or editorial-page writer) gets under your skin, you can ignore him/her (which I recommend usually). Or you can respond and run the risk of keeping it alive longer than it normally would survive.

That said, it's a free country and all of us have a right to do as we please. I'm not trying to tell anyone what to do. Rather, I'm offering an insider's look at a strategy.

Have a great weekend. I'm heading out to Breckenridge, Colo., 110 miles from home, for a final weekend of skiing. I'll be the guy wearing the FAU hockey jersey on the slopes and in the lodge, where I shall be parked from time to time, hiding behind a Bloody Mary or a Coors Light, depending upon time of day….
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Sun Sentinel...I'm disappointed

Man, I wish I could join you grayowl, sounds like you should have a great weekend enjoying the fine white powder and I am talking snow here.

Do a couple double diamonds for me ;D
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Sun Sentinel...I'm disappointed

I agree it is not there place to promote our athletics, but it seems as though they love to bash it. I just wish they would balance it out a bit more. The last two years when we were winning the articals were great, now that were in the off season its as though they have nothing to write about. I guess this is the biggest news, I wish they would do some researching on the stadium for us.
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Sun Sentinel...I'm disappointed

I have no problem with them identifying the problem but how about listing some of the reasons we are in such a hole instead of just comparing these startup football programs to programs that have been around 20,30,75 years! It takes money to make it and the collegiate sports market is very competitive with a lot of teams vying for air time. It will not happen overnight and it will not happen without spending the money up front. I just would like the articles to have a LITTLE more balance. >:(
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Sun Sentinel...I'm disappointed

OK Owl Fans, now back to our regular scheduled program. Remember awhile back, Ted and his biased reporting was the topic of conversation. The man is a beat writer who has caused many heartburns at the Oxley. His audience varies. The negative approach will be read and either believed or as most adults will do, make their own decisions. The Owl bashers will only see the negatives no matter how positive it may seem to us. The open minded reader will see a school who's working on improvements.

Now with that said here's a take on the issues:
Businesses and local promoters will read the papers. However, anyone who will donate or participate in FAU fundraisers will not take a newspaper article as the bible. Would you? They will investigate the claims themselves before giving. So the work of the writer is to get the info out there. Like one poster said sensationalism sells news!We may not like it but we will lose too many potential donors to it either. Anyone who will make up their minds from a news article without first verifying the issues, before donating should keep their money anyway. They could probably use it more than us.

It would be nice to recieve positive media press all the time but we have to take the source and run with it from there. You should see some of the things they have written about BCS Champions Southern Cal!!!!!
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Sun Sentinel...I'm disappointed

Hey Bytor: Just back from Breckenridge, where the spring skiing was just superb. So bright, it was sunburn city….yet another (snow)storm expected tonight and Tuesday, so two more weeks of good skiing before Breck closes for the season. My legs are killing me. Now, it's time to look for a mild anesthetic, which I expect to find in a bottle. Thanks again to you and O.G. Owl (and all the others) for the spring practice updates. Although I'll always be a Jared Allen fan, I really love the idea of some trickery in the backfield.
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