Clif’s Notes for March 14, 2017

Clif's Notes

About a year ago I told you about financial reports we submitted to the NCAA. I clarified that despite allegations of exorbitant increases in athletics expenses from some observers, the newest report merely reflected a change in the way athletics expenses are reported. Nevertheless, the athletics department was over budget.

Latest NCAA reportBaseball fans cheer

Missouri State’s most recent NCAA report is now complete. You can find that report on the financial services webpage.

Highlights from the report include:

  • Total athletics expenses increased by 4 percent
  • Revenue from royalties, licensing, advertising and sponsorships increased by 154 percent
  • Revenue from program, novelty, parking and concession sales increased by 37 percent
  • Donor contributions (cash and in-kind) increased by 3 percent
  • Ticket sales decreased by 18 percent

Moving forward, reducing expenses

Women running hurdlesBecause of increased expenses and decreased revenue, the athletics department was again over budget. I have been clear with our athletics administrators and coaches that this trend must be reversed and that we must proactively reduce our athletics expenses. We have recently taken several significant steps to do this.

Last month we withdrew as the host for the 2017 Missouri Valley Conference Track and Field Championships. We also decided not to make approximately $600,000 in improvements to existing facilities that would have been necessary to host the tournament.

We formed an Athletics Budget Work Group chaired by Dr. Jim Hutter and tasked the group to find at least an additional $750,000 of ongoing athletics expenses to cut. I expect to receive the final report from that group this month.

Athletics are important to the university. Successful sports teams help in recruiting students, create a positive spirit on campus, lead to good alumni relations and aid fundraising efforts. The university must create and sustain competitive athletic programs, but we must accomplish that goal within a reasonable financial framework. In the current circumstances, that means containing costs.

Thanks for all you do for Missouri State!


Clif Smart

About Clif Smart

Clifton "Clif" M. Smart III has served as the 11th president of Missouri State University since June 27, 2011. Smart is known throughout campus and the state of Missouri for his collaborative leadership and strong relationships with students, faculty and staff. During his tenure, the university has continually set new enrollment records, added degree programs and constructed or extensively renovated more than a dozen major campus facilities. Before his presidency, Smart served as the Missouri State University’s general counsel.
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