Contact: Carl Nathe
“Our cumulative grade point average (GPA) for all of our women’s sports was 3.09 this past semester, while the men had a 2.79 cumulative GPA. For the entire department, our student-athletes came in at a 2.91 cumulative GPA. Our goal is to reach a 3.0 GPA across the board and continue to build from there.".
-- Mitch Barnhart,
LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 24, 2004) -- The University of Kentucky Athletic Association Board of Directors approved a $51.2 million operating budget for fiscal year 2004-05 at its meeting this afternoon, an increase of approximately 2.5 percent from 2003-04 projections. Executive Associate Athletics Director Rob Mullens noted that UK Athletics, which receives no state tax dollars and is entirely self-supporting, will continue to transfer $1 million per year to the President’s Office to support academic scholarships for non-athletes.
Nearly $1 million of the new budget’s increased expenditures comes from covering the greater cost of paying for athletic scholarships, due to higher tuition and fees at UK next year. Mullens noted that nearly half of UK’s total athletics budget is allocated for scholarship and personnel costs. He said that while UK supports the broadest athletics program in the Southeastern Conference at 22 sports, it has only a mid-range budget when compared to the other 11 SEC institutions.
In other business, the board approved $600,000 to replace the court lighting system at Memorial Coliseum. UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart noted that several bulbs have dislodged recently over the playing floor, as well as over the seating area; no one was injured. The new system will improve lighting to better meet the needs of television, as well as reducing energy costs.
Barnhart reported the academic improvement of UK’s student-athletes.
“Our cumulative grade point average (GPA) for all of our women’s sports was 3.09 this past semester, while the men had a 2.79 cumulative GPA,” said Barnhart. “For the entire department, our student-athletes came in at a 2.91 cumulative GPA. Our goal is to reach a 3.0 GPA across the board and continue to build from there,” he said.
Barnhart alluded to recent media reports of allegations of misuse of football tickets by a member of the coaching staff.
“The situation is undergoing a comprehensive review,” said Barnhart. “We will continue to be diligent and thorough in examining this matter and will take action as warranted and appropriate. From what we have learned in our investigation, we are confident that no NCAA rules were violated. We will learn from this, see how we can even further improve our procedures, and move on,” said Barnhart.
The board also received initial audit review reports on football and basketball ticket revenues for the 2003-04 fiscal year, heard an update from President Lee T. Todd Jr. on UK’s current NCAA self-study process, and listened as several board members commented positively on the second annual edition of the Catspys, the department-wide celebration of student-athlete accomplishments, both on and off the playing field.