It’s well known around the country that college athletic programs often have huge budgets and are funded by the school but at Dixie State University, an institution that competes at the Division II level, the budget is stifled dramatically.
DSU’s athletic program’s budget currently sits at about $5.5 million dollars, which may seem like a lot to the unknowing eye, but it pales in comparison to schools like the University of Utah or Brigham Young University, both of which have a budget in excess of $50 million dollars.
The exact price of DSU athletics as of last year is $5,566,625, but only about $1.5 million of that is “real money” as Athletic Director Jason Boothe said. What he means by real money is that the other $4 million goes directly into scholarships and contracted salaries. It is money that the athletic department never actually sees.
That $1.5 million goes into day-to-day operations, equipment and game-day fees. With that $1.5 million that comes mainly from fundraising, boosters and student fees, the athletic department is expected to make back all of the $4 million spent on salaries and scholarships.
Last year, it did just that. The total revenue in 2014 was $5,600,308, netting about a $35,000 dollar profit.
“That would just mean that we aren’t giving back to the programs enough,” Boothe said. “We don’t have the lavish surpluses and profits that some bigger schools have to give back to the school. It will probably stay that way for the foreseeable future.”
Head basketball coach Jon Judkins reflected on just that.
“We don’t have the money to be able to do what other schools do,” Judkins said. “We do have enough to get by pretty well right now, but anything beyond that we have to do fundraisers for and we have several different ways we do that.”
The athletic department pays back the school in other ways. Athletic events and programs provide so much for the university that can’t be monetarily measured, Boothe said.
Sports are the schools most effective tool for advertisement. They expose the community and youth not only in the local region, but in areas where DSU teams travel to play. Most out of state youths wouldn’t even know about Dixie if it weren’t for athletics, Boothe said.
“The athletic program does much more for the university than just bringing in money,” Boothe said. “It promotes better recruiting, not only for athletes but for students as well. It helps with the retention rates, which makes legislature more likely to back us on projects like the 150,000-square-foot student center we are currently working on getting done.”
Another question often asked is what sports get the most money? Why do they get more money?
The three most funded sports per participant at DSU are men’s basketball, women’s basketball and softball. Not coincidentally, those three programs have been the most successful for the Storm in recent years.
Among the lowest funded are football and soccer, programs which have been struggling as of late. The simple answer to what sports get the most funding: winning, Boothe said.
“Obviously when teams win we have to build on that and support it,” Boothe said. “That being said, the better those teams continue to do, the more our budget will increase. That will help us use the more successful programs to build up the struggling ones. Hopefully we can get to the point where everyone is at the point financially that they need to be.”