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WSU athletics releases 2014 fiscal numbers

On Friday, the Washington State athletic department released its statement of revenues and expenses for the prior fiscal year.

You can read it below.

I spoke to athletic director Bill Moos this afternoon to break down some of these numbers.

-- First, Moos asked me to clarify that the Cougars do not receive any extra money because Oregon participated in the college football playoffs, nor will Pac-12 schools receive any largesse from the Ducks playing in the championship game.

"It doesn't matter whether the Pac-12 has a team in the four slots or in the championship game; our money is guaranteed and it's significantly more than it has been in the past," Moos said. "It's not like basketball where you get units for how many teams you get and how far they go in the bracket."

Rather, WSU saw an extra $2.5 million that it would have received whether or not the Pac-12 placed a school in the playoffs.

-- As you can see, the athletic department's revenues grew from about $45.5 million in 2013 to about $47.2 million in 2014. However, the Cougars also spent a lot more money in 2014 and finished with a net loss of about $13 million.

Moos said that he expected to spend more money in 2014 and that extra expenses such as bowl payouts, Ken Bone's buyout, salary increases on the football staff, the hiring of Ernie Kent and his staff and creating assistant golf coach positions added to the deficit.

Still, he said those are expenses he was happy to bear.

-- Moos said that the department paid the remaining $1.8 million left on Bone's contract immediately, rather than spacing it out over the duration of his seven-year contract.

-- While WSU's total contributions dipped from $7.7 million in 2013 to $7.2 million in 2014, Moos says that the number of Cougar Athletics Fund donors set a new record, as did their total donations. The reason the contributions number is lower is because of specific donations to Phase One of the Martin Stadium renovation that expired.

-- The Pac-12 schools saw money from the Pac-12 Networks for the first time in 2014, a cool $1.5 million that is expected to go up significantly.

"We're still optimistic as a conference that could get up to 7 or 8 million per school."

-- Moos says his projections show the athletic department becoming solvent by 2019, although he hopes WSU athletics will become revenue neutral by 2018. The Cougars are currently servicing debt on bonds taken to pay for recent construction and while Moos says that the Cougars still have projects in mind -- an indoor practice facility, for instance – the athletic department will not take on additional debt.

"The plan is that any additional facilities will be the result of major gifts," Moos said. "We needed to get the football facilities as fast as we could to create the revenue stream from the premium seating area, and also to attract and develop our players, so we bonded that."

Jacob Thorpe
Jacob Thorpe joined The Spokesman-Review in 2013. He currently is a reporter for the Sports Desk covering Washington State University athletics.

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