UL Athletics Director Scott Farmer was beset by bowl-game spending questions Thursday.
The Daily Advertiser reported in its Thursday edition, as part of a story on the Sun Belt Conference's new arrangement for distributing bowl-game income, that the department incurred $750,000 to $775,000 in expenses in last year's R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl trip.
Even Sun Belt Commissioner Karl Benson asked Farmer about those numbers, thinking they were high.
"I keep telling people how expensive it is to come to a bowl game," Farmer says. "It's not just the trip itself ... absolutely everything associated with us getting a bid and playing in a bowl game is included in that number."
UL generated just over $1 million last year from its New Orleans Bowl trip, leaving a profit of approximately a quarter-million dollars.
Farmer enumerated several areas of expense that most fans and followers may not realize, among them but not limited to:
* Housing and feeding a large traveling party. The UL athletic party fills approximately 125 rooms at the New Orleans Marriott for five nights at full rack rate (the Sun Belt assigned the hotel), and that doesn't include the various university administrative staff that is also on hand for a shorter amount of time.
* Band and spirit groups. The Pride of Acadiana band, some 300 strong, was on hand for four days last year for a significant hotel, meal and transportation tab. The cheerleaders and dance line adds three or four dozen more to that party.
* Coaches' bonuses. The UL coaching staff has bonuses built into their contracts for making it to a bowl game. Head coach Mark Hudspeth has the largest bonus, but the nine assistant coaches all are compensated for bowl invitations and successes.
* Other employees. The department paid untold hours of overtime to staff who were eligible for that, including a ticket office staff that routinely worked 12-or-more-hour days from the time that UL received its bowl invitation.
* Team housing and meals. It's not just the bowl trip ... since the team had to remain on campus after its Dec. 1 regular-season finale, the athletic department has to pick up the tab for team housing and meals from the time the fall semester ends until they depart for the bowl game. This year, that was an extra two weeks of room charges and per diem for a team party that numbers well over 100.
* Rings and bowl gifts for players and staff, not to exceed NCAA guidelines.
"There's a lot more than those," Farmer says. "Everything that's triggered by us going to a bowl figures into that."
This year, with the new regulations requiring the revenue split with the conference, Farmer says UL's total income will obviously be smaller. He was the only league athletic director to vehemently oppose the new regulations.
"The schools that had never been to bowls were all in favor of it," he says. "The schools that had been to bowl games, they all had new athletic directors who didn't know what was going on. I was a one-man fight."
Farmer says the regulations are in place just for this year, and the process will be revisited by the league's AD's this spring.
To post a comment, please log into your IND account. If you do not have an account, click the "register" button to create one. Facebook comments can be used as an alternative to creating an account at theIND.com.
AUG 22 Blogger Robert Mann is writing about the so-called Edmonson Amendment in this post, and he's not a fan. If Bobby Jindal really does support a "gold standard" of ethics he would have done something - or even said something - and yet he has not, Mann says.
AUG 22 Crazy Crawfish is blogging about the (interesting) incident of the state Education Department's website being out of commission earlier this week. It was reported (with heavy implications) in two local media outlets, and Crawfish feels the stories would have been better had the reporters done a little investigation instead of just printing what they were told.
AUG 22 Blogger Tom Aswell has some advice for state troopers who plan on making any public comments or challenges to the Jindal administration: don't do it. He's telling the story of one trooper who dared to challenge Commander Mike Edmonson's buddy and paid the price for it.
AUG 22 Columnist Clancy DuBos is writing about the upcoming elections in this post on Gambit. The field for local and federal offices has its share of old guys, he tells us, although mostly he's talking about Edwin Edwards.
AUG 22 Columnist Jim Beam is talking about the Office of Group Benefits in this post; that's the office that handles the money collected from state employees to pay their benefits. The OGB reserve fund has been reduced by half in the last year, and the Jindal administration keeps saying that's a good thing - but that's like telling a kid that castor oil is good, Beam says.
AUG 22 Columnist James Gill is writing about dueling efforts over the killing of animals; on one side is a lady trying to avoid the euthanizing of stray cats and on the other is a camp of folk who feel that there are enough black bears in Louisiana for us to start killing them for fun.
AUG 22 One could assume that nobody (teachers included) likes it when politicians tell them how to do their job. So what do teachers think about Common Core? Blogger Michael Deshotels is examining some responses from teachers who were asked. (Spoiler alert: none of these comments will be used in a Common Core marketing campaign.)
AUG 22 This post on The Hill is commenting upon the latest round of "that candidate is the worst person in the world" ads that are running in Louisiana's Senate race. This round takes aim at Bill Cassidy, the physician/Congressman who is challenging Mary Landrieu, and lists all the votes he has cast that hurt veterans.
AUG 21 Tom Aswell is telling us about another "efficiency" contract the state has signed. This one is paying a consultant (i.e. someone with a briefcase from out of town) $140 an hour, plus tens of thousands in air fare. The agency on the receiving end of this tender care? The DMV. Well -- that's working great, then.
AUG 21 Columnist Stephanie Riegel is writing about the scandal that has rocked the LSU Alumni Association (to wit, the executive director's "girlfriend" also was his employee; when they "broke up" he started paying her, with alumni money, to keep her mouth shut). In particular, she's looking for some lessons to learn from the mishigas.
AUG 21 This post on The Lens brings us up to date on the ongoing process of populating the levee board that will decide if the so-called Big Oil lawsuit will move forward. Gov. Jindal has done his best to put the kibosh on the suit by removing pro-suit members, but the process of replacing them is not simple, Bob Marshall tells us.
Read the Flipping Paper!
Click Here for the Entire Print Version of IND Monthly