Heavily subsidized Duck coach has 10 year plan to break even

No, of course I’m not talking about basketball coach Dana Altman – he’s a lost cause. I’m talking about women’s volleyball coach Jim Moore. RG columnist Austin Meek has the story here:

On paper, Moore acknowledged, the task looks daunting. According to financial documents filed with the U.S. Department of Education, Oregon’s volleyball program generated $387,000 in revenue and $1.6 million in expenses for 2013-14.

This program does give out 13 full-ride scholarships, apparently almost all to out of state-students. Let’s see, he’s losing $1.3M per year, so each scholarship costs UO $100,000. So we could eliminate volleyball and give out 50 full-ride scholarships to Oregon residents selected on the basis of academic merit or need. We’d have to drop a men’s sport too of course, because of Title IX. How about baseball? That would be another 150 scholarships, easy.

Meanwhile Altman is losing about $3M a year, or 120 merit/need scholarships. And that doesn’t count the Knight Arena bond payments.

I had to file a few public records petitions with the Oregon Department of Justice to make it happen, but Rob Mullens and the Athletic Department are now very transparent about finances – coach contracts here, NCAA docs and once secret MOU’s here:

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14 Responses to Heavily subsidized Duck coach has 10 year plan to break even

  1. Duckduckgo says:

    Moore isn’t highly paid compared to peers, but is highly paid for running a small, money-losing operation that has little influence on donations or attracting students. What sets the market rate for a coach in this kind of position? With football, the usual reasons are responsibility for high revenue, importance to fundraising, etc. But here, the default is to be paid much higher than a successful science professor running a lab of 25 people who bring in several hundred thousand dollars in grants (and not at a loss rate of 400% of revenue). I guess if the AD is trying to always spend every bit of money plus then salaries will inflate accordingly.

  2. just different says:

    I’m hoping UO Matters is just being provocative. Picking on volleyball is more than a little mean-spirited, unless you believe that intercollegiate athletics of any sort has no place on a college campus (in which case we will have to agree to disagree).

    To the best of my knowledge, no UO volleyball player has ever raped anyone or been arrested for DUI, possession, or assault. They don’t walk into class with an attitude problem and they don’t have a Taj Mahal-like practice facility. Despite the AD’s efforts at sleazy sexualized marketing, I doubt any of them have any kind of national recognition or expectations of a pro career.

    I don’t know if their budget can be trimmed a bit, but I do know that even if Moore succeeds at his 10-year plan, there is still pretty much no danger that volleyball will ever exert the outsize corrupting influence that football and men’s basketball do. Ditching volleyball would on balance make UO a poorer place, whether or not it frees up money for academics.

    UO baseball, on the other hand, is a different story.

    • Anon says:

      Is there anyplace else at UO where you can get paid $160,000 (plus bonuses?) to run a programs that loses more than $1,000,000 a year and serves maybe 20 students? Shut it down.

      • Duckduckgo says:

        How many students are in the Law School these days?

      • just different says:

        I’ll bet there are lots of academic programs that “lose” around $1M a year which students would miss far less than volleyball. The point is that UO is not a business and neither profitability not popularity should determine our spending priorities.The whole concept of “revenue sport” probably does more to compromise academics than what gets spent on volleyball and similar sports.

        I’m not a volleyball fan, but I recognize that it is solidly established as a “major” women’s team sport and it’s something UO does well. It also attracts a good-sized and enthusiastic fan base on campus. Pick another target for your outrage at the AD, unless you want to come off as an elitist curmudgeon who hates jocks on principle.

        • The Truth says:

          That’s all well and good, and I agree about the volleyball players themselves as students.

          Why should the head coach for a non-revenue, money-losing sport like volleyball be paid more than most professors? Is there some huge market for volleyball coaches that he could access?

          Seems that most athletic department employees goose their salaries by playing the “free market” card that really only applies to football and maybe basketball coaches.

          • Michigan Duck says:

            There is definitely a market for winning volleyball coaches at Division I universities. Does the AD need to pay the coach that much? Maybe not, but the athletic department has the resources to afford that salary. The volleyball program may lose money, but the athletic department as a whole makes a lot of money. I agree that this is similar to academic programs. Some programs may lose money but other programs make money. Only spending revenue on the program or sport that generated the revenue is not a smart move for the good of the university in either case. For all the complaints about faculty salaries, observers might think that there are no other universities hiring faculty in the country. I get that faculty members may like living in Eugene, but it is a free market for labor, academic or athletic coaching. If you don’t like your salary, no one is forcing you to stay at UO.

          • Duckduckgo says:

            Michigan Duck, the question of faculty salaries is not just personal. Some of us realize, like you, that faculty can and will leave for better salaries (and have), and worry about the ramifications on the University as a whole.

          • Michigan Duck says:

            Duckduckgo, I applaud you for trying to raise the visibility of the problem, but it has been an issue for so long it really seems a futile effort at this point. The powers in charge of the university have made their decisions. The odds of it changing anytime soon seem beyond “a good bet”.

    • Sports Fan says:

      What did the baseball players ever do?

      Besides becoming fixtures at Taylor’s (up to, including and especially the under-21 set) and consistently failing to meet preseason expectations set by their head coach.

  3. Fact check? says:

    Volleyball does not give out 13 scholarships each year, and they don’t cost nearly $100,000 each. You clearly have no idea what you are talking about.

    • uomatters says:

      These numbers come from the UO EADA reports to the NCAA and DoE. Follow the links and learn.

      • Fact check? says:

        Dividing the program’s overall net loss by the number of scholarships is not how you calculate expenses per scholarship. Baffling that someone posting on university finances would put that up (and no, you couldn’t just magically turn that into 50 academic scholarships).

        Volleyball gives out 12 scholarships annually, not 13, per NCAA regulations. There are technical exceptions in rare cases of medical retirements, but once again, this is not an “annual” expenditure.

        The VB program (indeed all sports program) also generates publicity and ancillary revenues for the university and Eugene community not taken into account in this accounting here.

        It also serves far more than 20 students (check the student attendance).

  4. numnum says:

    don’t forget….

    publicity is not always good when it comes to college athletics….

    that the stands at low attendance sports are usually filled with friends and families of the athletes

    that those empty classroom seats held by athletes are not filled with additional tuition dollars…

    students doing research at a school that cares about academics will create more positive publicity that any volleyball team that does not win a championship

    The cost benefit analysis is incomplete because of the lack of information available from the Owe