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SPORTS
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FAU athletics: A matter of dollars and sense
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By EMILY SEYMOUR
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As most students know, a portion of the money paid for each credit hour goes to the Florida Atlantic University Athletic Department. And it goes a long way toward financing nine men's and 11 women's teams.

The department receives about $14 million annually, and 85 to 90 percent comes from student fees. The remaining 10 to 15 percent comes where many students think it should – donations and sponsors.

However, it is difficult to find these donations when FAU does not have a strong history of competing against top teams or establishing long win streaks. Ticket sales for some sports are negligible.

“If students and people do not show up to our games,” assistant track coach Owen McGregor said, “then it makes it even more difficult to profit from our sporting events.” That's why he and other coaches agree, student fees are a savior.

Once the money is collected from the fees and donations, it is divided into three portions —$5 million for athletes' scholarships, $5 million for travel, equipment and other expenses, and the remaining $4 million for salaries.

“That may seem like a lot of money,” head cross country coach Alex Smolka said. “But it really isn’t when you spread it across nine men's sports and 11 women's sports.”

Football is the big-money sport, though that's relatively small compared with collgiate powerhouses. The football team’s annual budget is about $3 million, but the team only makes about half of that money back at the end of the year.

Students may not agree with the system of how athletics gather money to run the sport programs; however, it seems like the only practical way.

“If the university didn’t take out money from every student’s enrollment so we can have sports programs, then I wouldn’t be in college,” cross country and track runner Katie Quick said. “I don’t think it would be a true college if there wasn’t athletics.”

 

 
 

 
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