Letter from AD John Currie, June 30

Good afternoon K-State Nation!

The clock is winding down on today’s close of fiscal year 2015, and we are grateful to report that the phones are still ringing and the in-boxes chiming in the ticket and Ahearn offices as we sprint to the finish line this afternoon! Last week we began a two-part series reflecting on the fiscal, academic and athletics year and today would like to focus on the financial results of this past year as well as look ahead at our FY 2016 budget.

While we put the finishing touches on fiscal year 2015, I am pleased to report that K-State Athletics will have a balanced budget and achieve a surplus for the sixth straight year - all of which can be reinvested back into our student-athletes. I appreciate our coaches and staff for continuing to make budget-conscious decisions each and every day as well as all of Wildcat Nation for filling our stadiums all year long and participating in the Ahearn Fund, which now has 10,000 members spread out among all 50 states! In July we’ll provide a final FY Ahearn Fund giving report which will be highlighted by record-breaking annual fund gift totals.

We have gained much momentum and made great progress over the past six years but have no plans to slow down. With significant evolution of college athletics and more change on the horizon, including the new “full cost of attendance” scholarship, which will greatly benefit K-State student-athletes, there is more urgency than ever before to make great decisions and be vigilant in our quest to achieve our Vision of A Model Intercollegiate Athletics Program.

Today, it is our pleasure to share with you our projected fiscal year 2016 budgeted revenues and expenses, and if you click here you can see both sides of our 2015-16 “Budget Card,” our seventh version of what has become a nationally-recognized symbol of K-State’s commitment to transparency in athletics.

For FY16 we are projecting a balanced budget of $70.1 million, a $4.4 million increase over last year and a $26 million increase from our 2010 budget of $44.1 million.

Our largest revenue sources will again be the combined $31.87 million in ticket purchases and contributions by our loyal fans and Ahearn Fund donors and $29 million in projected Big 12/NCAA revenue shares. Keep in mind that while our Big 12 revenues have doubled since 2009, the grass-roots participation and dedication of our fans and donors is still the largest source of support for K-State student-athletes.

On the expense side, approximately 56 percent of our budget is dedicated to the direct operations of our teams, which includes scholarships, sports medicine, coaching, travel, recruiting, etc. – all essential in reaching our first goal of providing A World-Class Student-Athlete Experience. We again have an increase (approximately $1 million total over last two years) in our student-athlete support line, which accounts for additional nutritional expenses that we have incurred under recent NCAA legislation allowing institutions to provide additional meals and snacks to student-athletes, while we have an increase of approximately $2 million in operating/recruiting costs and $1.2 million in scholarship costs related to the new “full-cost-of-attendance” scholarship.

Our "Administration" line item for FY16 will be about $4 million, while our annual institutional support fee, which we pay to the University to help provide administrative support such as legal services to K-State Athletics, will increase to $408,000 in FY16. You also may remember that in addition to completing a four-year plan to eliminate $1.6 million in direct institutional support of athletics a year early in 2013, we are also in a multi-year plan to assume full responsibility for utility payments for athletic facilities. The elimination of these direct and indirect subsidies this fiscal year will enable just under $3 million of university dollars annually to be redirected for general campus needs. Put another way, direct and indirect university support of athletics was 6.1 percent of our budget in FY10. In FY16 it will be zero. Being the only school in Kansas and just one of a handful nationally to be able to make this statement is evidence of our commitment to our second goal, providing Value to the University, Community and State.

We have made tremendous progress over the past six years toward our vision of being a Model Intercollegiate Athletics Program, and we look forward to a successful 2015-16 academic year! Remember tomorrow, July 1, we take a big step in our fifth goal of having The Best Fan Experience in the Big 12 when we launch the new and improved k-statesports.com at 8 a.m. as we complete the switch-over to our new provider, SportsLabs. Check it out and let us know what you think!

That's it for today. Have a wonderful July 4 holiday, and….

Go Cats!

John Currie