Athletics Board Approves Operating Budget

Contact: Carl Nathe

 

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In other business, Todd, Barnhart and members of the board congratulated the UK’s conference championship sports teams for 2004-05 in men’s golf, women’s tennis, men’s basketball, and men’s soccer.

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 26, 2005) -- The University of Kentucky Athletic Association (UKAA) Board of Directors today approved an operating budget of $54.225 million for fiscal year 2005-06 and gave its approval to a financing plan to build a new basketball practice facility adjacent to Memorial Coliseum.

The UKAA, which is 100 percent self-supporting and receives no state or university funds, supports the broadest program in the Southeastern Conference – 22 varsity sports – with an athletics budget that places UK in the mid-range of SEC schools.

“I'm pleased that in this new budget, UK Athletics is continuing its commitment to contribute $1 million annually to the president’s office to fund academic scholarships and programs,” said UK President Lee T. Todd Jr.

Also, through the new multimedia rights agreement, UK Athletics this year will make the first payment on a 10-year commitment to the Singletary Scholars program, the university’s most prestigious merit scholarship award.

“This will enable us to increase the number of Singletary Scholarships we offer annually from the current 20 up to 25,” said Todd.

Rob Mullens, UK executive associate director of Athletics, reported that escalating expenses that need to be covered in the 2005-06 budget include $1.9 million to cover increased tuition costs for athletic scholarships, an increase of 4 percent in the merit pool for staff salaries, as well as additional health benefit costs and other increases. Additional revenues of $1.6 million will be generated during the first year of the multimedia rights agreement, with gains also coming from increased shares from SEC distribution revenues and other sources.

The board also gave its approval to a financing plan to fund construction of a new $27.5 million basketball practice facility.

UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said it is hoped that ground can be broken this summer and the facility in large part completed in time for the start of basketball practice in October 2006. “We need this facility to help keep our men’s basketball program in the top echelon nationally, as well as helping to grow our women’s program to national stature,” said Barnhart.

Barnhart also spoke of the enhancements the facility will bring to UK’s women’s volleyball and gymnastics programs, which for the first time will have their own permanent locker rooms.

Funding for the facility will come from a combination of state bonds, which will be repaid in total by UK Athletics, fund balances in the athletics budget, money from UKAA’s quasi-endowment, and private gifts.

In other business, Todd, Barnhart and members of the board congratulated the UK’s conference championship sports teams for 2004-05 in men’s golf, women’s tennis, men’s basketball, and men’s soccer.


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