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To fund a sports program that university officials say will generate close to $200 million of additional revenue in its first 12 years in the Big Ten, Rutgers subsidized the athletics department nearly a quarter of that amount last year, according to the institution's financial report filed to the NCAA last month.
The report, obtained in response to an open-records request from USA TODAY Sports and Indiana University's National Sports Journalism Center, shows that the Rutgers athletics department received nearly $47 million in subsidies from the university's allocations fund to make up for a shortfall in the approximately $79 million athletics budget during the 2012-13 season.
It's an increase of about 68% from the $27.9million subsidy the athletics department received in 2012.
The $46,996,697 total subsidy, which includes $9,877,989 in student fees, $12,601 in government support specifically earmarked for the athletics department and $37,106,107 in direct institutional aid, is by far the most an NCAA Division I public school athletics program has received in a single year during the nearly 10 years USA TODAY Sports has examined spending and revenue data.
The nearly $47 million subsidy from an institution that partially relies on taxpayer funds means the state university subsidized 59.5% of the athletics department's total allocations. That's the largest percentage since 2005 -- a 15.8% spike from last year -- and its total allocated revenue is an amount that is greater than the total athletics operating revenue of all but 53 of Division I's 228 public school athletics programs in 2011-12.
Although the student fees subsidy increased 3.8% from last year, direct institutional support more than doubled from the $18.5 million that the university provided in 2012.
The more than $37.1 million is almost double the greatest amount of direct institutional support any other DivisionI public school has received in a single year since 2004-05, and it would have covered the total operating expenses of 164 Division I public school athletics departments in 2011-12.
Since 2005, Rutgers has generated $262.3 million in athletics revenue while the university has subsidized the program with $238.6 million. Rutgers distributes 10,000 complimentary tickets to students for football games and grants free access to other sporting events, a perk afforded to students whose fees have totaled $69.2 million since 2005.
Rutgers receives approximately 21% of its revenue from state appropriations, which means taxpayers fund part of the school's overall operating budget. According to the 2013 fiscal year financial report, Rutgers' $78,989,475 budget made up approximately 4% of the university's nearly $2billion allocations fund.
Although generated revenue decreased 11% to approximately $32 million in 2012-13, spending spiked as the result of a controversy stemming from former men's basketball coach Mike Rice's mistreatment of players.
Included in the 2013 expense ledger is $2,266,716 in severance payments, which is mostly made up of a $475,000 buyout for Rice and a $1.2 million settlement for Tim Pernetti to resign as athletics director amid the fallout of the bullying controversy.
The athletics department spent $1.9 million combined in severance payments over the previous eight years.
Although allocated student fees have risen every year since 2005, direct university support had been consistent at approximately $18 million a year since 2009.
"I would say, given all the turmoil we experienced last year, a dip in fundraising is to be expected," said Janine Purcaro, chief financial officer for Rutgers athletics. "It was unfortunate, but I think all that is behind us now, and we're seeing a lot of renewed support from our supporters, friends and alumni, especially as we're moving forward going to the Big Ten Conference."
Rutgers President Robert L. Barchi said this month that he expected the athletics department to be financially independent within the next six years as it begins receiving the full share of the BigTen's per-school distribution in 2020.