During the 2010-11 season, the ASU men’s basketball team had a budget of more than $6 million, but won about 40 percent of its games.
According to the University Athletics Statement of Revenue and Expenses, the ASU men’s basketball team spent $6.2 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2012 and generated $8.6 million in revenue.
The team finished the 2010-11 season at 12-19 and did not make it to the NCAA tournament. They also lost to Oregon in the first game of the Pac-10 tournament.
According to a study from the Memphis Business Journal, UA spent $6.9 million 2011 and finished the 2010-11 season 32-8, falling one game short of the Final Four. The team generated $21.2 million in revenue.
Sun Devil Athletics Senior Associate Athletics Director Rocky Harris said the men’s basketball team generates money through ticket sales, contributions, sponsorships and distributions from the NCAA in relation to television contracts and championship games.
Some of this money goes toward student athletes themselves. According to public records, the team spent $546,530 on student scholarships and financial aid.
Other expenses that directly impacted student athletes included $343,730 for travel, $144,049 for equipment and $31,805 for medical expenses, according to public records.
Public records also showed that $1.8 million was paid by ASU to coaches and $172,374 to staff. A third party paid $32,774 to coaches and $1,200 to staff.
According to public records, nearly $1.8 million of the team’s costs went directly toward infrastructure.
Basketball and football are the only ASU sports that generate a surplus revenue, Harris said.
The other 19 sports lose money and are supported by income generated from the football and basketball teams, he said.
“Our goal in the future is to drive more revenue out of both our football and basketball programs to better support our 500 student athletes,” Harris said.
He said Sun Devil Athletics is working to create business plans for the other teams to generate revenue so they do not have to rely so heavily on football and basketball.
Ray Artigue, the former executive director of ASU’s MBA Sports Business Program, said it’s the quality of the athletes that makes the team, not the amount of money spent.
“What your operating budget is does not necessarily correlate with wins and losses,” he said.
However, money could have an indirect effect on the team’s success, Artigue said.
Unlike professional sports teams, college teams don’t pay athletes and have to attract players through infrastructure, such as nice arenas, locker rooms and weight rooms, he said.
“At the end of the day, athletic achievement on the court or the field is about the athletes and about their hard work, dedication and commitment,” he said.
ASU alumnus Kyle Dodd said he learned a lot from his time on the men’s basketball team during his four years at ASU.
Dodd, who recently moved back to Arizona from his home state of California, is a sports commentator and trains professional basketball players preparing for the NBA draft.
“There’s not a day that goes by in my life right now that I don’t use something or reference something that I learned from being part of the team,” he said.
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