USC budget projected to top $84 million

SEC payouts close to being largest source of revenue

jkendall@thestate.comJune 17, 2013 

A conceptual rendering of the outdoor fields and the future indoor practice facility at South Carolina.

South Carolina’s Board of Trustees approved Monday an athletic department budget that will top $84 million for the 2013-2014 sports seasons.

“We hope to continue to grow our revenue with the success of our athletic teams and, we’re still a ways down the road, but with the SEC Network and what that can mean to our revenues,” athletics director Ray Tanner said.

The Gamecocks expect to bring in $84,103,300 while spending $83,692,900 of that total ($75,308,400 on direct expenditure and $8,384,500 on transfers such as scholarships and band support).

The majority of the budget ($20.3 million) comes from admissions and ticket sales with payouts from the NCAA and SEC ($19.2 million) coming in a close second.

The athletic department also informed the board that it expects its total debt load, which is nearly $122 million this year, to jump to $133 million next year due mostly to the upcoming construction of an indoor practice facility and new outdoor practice facilities for the football team. The athletic department currently pays $8.3 million annually to service its debt load and that will rise to more than $9 million next year.

The athletic association can legally take on up to $200 million in debt, Tanner said.

“We’re not approaching that, and I’m not interested in approaching that,” he said. “I’m comfortable with where we are and the projects we have coming on line.”

Also during Monday’s meeting:

-- The board approved four-year contract extensions and raises for men’s and women’s track coach Curtis Frye, equestrian coach Boo Major and men’s and women’s swimming and diving coach McGee Moody.

“I felt very strongly about that. Having been on that side of the fence for a long, long time, I probably am more sensitive to coach’s contracts than a lot of other athletic directors,” Tanner said.

Frye will make $241,400 annually. Moody will make $108,500, and Major will make $93,600.

-- The board approved a deal that will end the school’s longstanding relationship with the Spurs & Feathers newsletter and replace it with Aiken Communications, which will publish 22 newsletters each year in addition to three, full-color magazines along with digital and tabloid products each year. Gamecock Club members at the century level will receive the publications as a part of their membership.

“This was a decision of the (Gamecock Club) executive board,” Tanner said.

-- The board approved a $430,858 contract with Delta for charter flights for away football games against UCF, Arkansas, Tennessee and Missouri.

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