‘Bama, Penn State most profitable athletic departments

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Even as some universities look to nickel-and-dime their way through The Great $2K Stipend Debate, a sizable chunk — especially from the Power Six conferences — are pulling in some type of profit from collegiate athletics.

Based on disclosures from the United States Department of Education, the BusinessOfCollegeSports.com website reports that 47 of the 66 athletic departments with a football program in a BcS conference made a net profit for 2010-2011.  There were actually 48 schools listed by the site on the positive side of the financial ledger, with Notre Dame, which is a member of the Big East in other sports besides independent football program, coming in inside the Top Ten among individual institutions.

At this point, it would likely be wise to shine a light on the “disclaimer” the website noted when it comes to taking these numbers as financial gospel:

…the athletics departments do not report either profit or net income.  Rather, they report their revenues and expenses.  For this series, profit/net income was calculated by subtracting the total expenses reported from the total revenues reported. 

As noted above, the data used was obtained from the Department of Education and is from 2010-11.  While this data is not perfect, it is the only data publicly available for both private and public institutions.

In other words, take the numbers with a grain of salt the size of [insert name of favorite big-boned coach here].  So, with that said…

Not so surprisingly, the SEC (91.6) and Big Ten (83.33) were the conferences with the greatest percentage of its membership awash in black ink, followed by the Big 12’s 80 percent.

The lowest percentage among BcS conferences?  The Big East, with only three of the eight football-playing members of the conference in 2010-11 pulling in a profit.

Among individual schools, Alabama ($31.68 million) and Penn State ($31.62 million) had the highest net income.  Interestingly, the Tide was the only SEC school in the Top 10; the Big Ten, on the other hand, had a total of four — the Nittany Lions, Michigan (No. 3, $26.65 million), Ohio State (No. 7, $18.63 million) and Michigan State (No. 10, $13.51 million).

The six-time defending BcS conference, though, is certainly not hurting financially, with eight of its 12 members in the Top 26 in net income and just one athletic department — Ole Miss — that didn’t realize a profit.  Tennessee is on the very low end of the SEC profit spectrum with a meager $14,447; the next lowest total from a member of that conference is South Carolina at $762,726.

Texas (No. 4, $24.32 million), Kansas State (No. 5, $23.39 million), Oregon (No. 8, $16.43 million) and Oklahoma State (No. 9, $14.36 million) round out the Top 10 most profitable athletic departments.  Again, based on the very raw numbers from the Department of Education.

(Tip O’ the Cap: al.com)

New Mexico AD Paul Krebs in hot water for Scotland golf trip

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New Mexico AD Paul Krebs (right) had it all figured out. He wanted to go to Scotland to play golf (who doesn’t) but he didn’t want to pay for it (who does?). So he came up with a solution: he’d turn it into a UNM fundraising trip and make the school pay for it.

The school sold 23 packages to travel across the pond for a getaway of luxurious accommodations and bucket-list golf, but put the bills of himself, two UNM executives and a handful of local businessmen on the school’s dime. Lots of dimes, in fact. The trip cost the Lobos nearly $65,000.

“The trip was a working trip and it was designed to immerse us with these donors. It was an intensive experience and I understand why people may question it,” Krebs told KRQE-TV earlier this month.

Despite his attempt at justification, it appeared Krebs knew from the start the trip was an ethical no-no. The $65,000 bill was classified as a basketball tournament on UNM’s accounting paperwork, and Krebs failed to disclose the nature of the June 2015 trip to acting president Chaouki Abdallah until last week.

“VP Krebs came to me and told me that he wanted to tell me something that he had forgotten or did not tell me before,” Abdallah told KRQE. “I was not happy.”

It is not clear why the UNM Foundation or the Lobo Club,  non-profits that handles the school’s and the athletics department’s fundraising efforts, respectively, did not cover the cost of the trip, especially since Lobo Club executive director Kole McKamey was one of the UNM officials who was on the trip. Putting the bill on the university’s ledger also appears to be a violation of the state’s anti-donation laws. The $24,000 cost to take the Albuquerque businessmen has since been refunded by an anonymous donor.

“(Krebs) told me about it in no uncertain terms,” Abdallah told said. “He didn’t try to sugarcoat it. He said I made a mistake. I didn’t tell you about it before. Here’s what happened. I’m going to try to fix it.”

 

Miami Beach Bowl officially moves to Frisco, Texas

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The Miami Beach Bowl was an unnecessary bowl game played in a metro area already populated by bowl games — but at least it was in Miami. Bowl games may have lost their luster over the past decade-plus, but it’s hard to complain about being sent to South Beach in December for a football game.

The Miami Beach Bowl is no more, and it’s now been reincarnated as another unnecessary bowl game to be played in a metro area even more populated by bowl games — and it won’t be anywhere near as interesting as Miami.

Meet the Frisco Bowl, the newest ESPN-created postseason college football game to be played in the scenic locale of Frisco, Texas.

The north Dallas suburb will host the game at Toyota Stadium, a 20,500-seat outdoor venue that’s home to MLS club FC Dallas as well as the FCS National Championship every January. The Frisco Bowl will also compete for sponsorship dollars and public attention with the Cotton Bowl in Arlington, the Heart of Dallas Bowl in Dallas and the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth.

“We are pleased to be able to host this game in one of the most vibrant football markets in the country,” said ESPN vice president of events Clint Overby. “The infrastructure and facilities that exist in Frisco are outstanding and will be an excellent venue for the teams, players, administrators and fans traveling into the marketplace. We look forward to working with civic organizations and businesses in the area to create an annual event that embraces the spirit of the community.”

The first annual Frisco Bowl will pit an American Athletic Conference team against a to-be-determined conference at 8 p.m. ET on Dec. 20.

2017 Texas signee sees felony drug charge reduced to misdemeanor

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It appears the door to one member of Texas’ 2017 recruiting class arriving in Austin this summer has opened a little wider.

In late February, Reese Leitao was arrested at his Oklahoma high school on a charge of possession/delivery of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to sell within a thousand feet of a school, a felony.  Tuesday, the Austin American-Statesman is reporting, Leitao pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor drug possession charge.

As part of the plea agreement, Leitao received a four-year deferred sentence; provided he stays clean during that time, the charge will be wiped off his record.  The American-Statesman writes that, “[a]ccording to Leitao’s attorney, Leitao has ‘some probationary work,’including speaking engagements at schools, and will be under the supervision of the district attorney.”  A $1,000 fine was part of his punishment as well.

The ball is now in the hands of first-year UT head coach Tom Herman as to whether Leitao will have a football future with the Longhorns.

“I’m happy,” the attorney, Allen Smallwood, told the newspaper. “Hopefully the University of Texas will be happy.”

At the time of Leitao’s arrest, a statement attributed to Herman said that “[w]e’re collecting information, will talk to Reese and his family, let the legal system run its course and then address it further at the appropriate time.” As of this posting, the university has yet to publicly address the development.

Leitao was a three-star 2017 signee, rated as the No. 19 tight end in the country and the No. 8 player at any position in the state of Oklahoma.

Miami All-American, NFL Hall of Famer Cortez Kennedy dead at 48

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One of the most physically-gifted and talented players in the history of Miami Hurricanes football is gone way, way too soon.

The Orlando Police Department confirmed Tuesday afternoon that Cortez Kennedy passed away earlier today.  He was just 48 years old.

No cause of death has been determined, with the OPD stating that “at this time there is nothing suspicious to report but we are conducting an investigation regarding his unattended passing.”

After starting his collegiate playing career at the junior college level, Kennedy moved on to the University of Miami, earning All-American honors in 1989.  In 2004, he was inducted into the university’s Sports Hall of Fame.

The third overall pick of the 1990 NFL draft, Kennedy spent his entire 11-year pro career with the Seattle Seahawks.  In 2012, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Not surprisingly, Kennedy’s sudden passing has brought an outpouring of emotion from those connected to the football program.