UAA approves 3.5 percent raises for its 325 employees


In this file photo, University of Florida Athletic Director Jeremy Foley looks to the score board in the final minutes of the second half against South Carolina at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina Saturday, November 12, 2011.

Doug Finger/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 5:16 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 5:16 p.m.

For the first time in four years, the University of Florida's athletic staff will get a raise.

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In this file photo, University of Florida Athletic Director Jeremy Foley looks to the score board in the final minutes of the second half against South Carolina at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina Saturday, November 12, 2011.

Doug Finger/The Gainesville Sun

The University Athletic Association's board of directors on Wednesday approved a $100.5 million budget for 2013-14 — 3.83 percent more than the current approved budget.

The additional $3.6 million in expenditures includes a $2.6 million increase in salaries, a figure that includes guaranteed raises in several coaches' contracts and a 3.5 percent across-the-board increase for all 325 association employees.

“This budget continues to allow us to run a first-class athletic program,” said Jeremy Foley, UF's athletic director. “This is the first time in four years we are able to offer raises to our employees, consistent with what UF is doing.”

The UF board of trustees last week approved a preliminary $4 billion budget that includes pay increases for faculty and staff of between 3.5 percent and 5 percent. The board has not yet given a final approval to the salary increase.

The budget also reflects the fact that only six games will be played this football season at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium instead of the usual seven, Foley said.

According to the UAA's executive summary, the UAA budget relies heavily on the football program's revenue-generating ability. The football program accounts for 67 percent of the revenue for the UAA but spends 16 percent of it.

Gator boosters contribute a third of the UAA revenue, and this year's contribution is projected to be $34 million.

Football ticket sales account for $22.1 million, and another $16.8 million is projected to come from SEC revenue from bowl games, television contracts and championships.

UAA's multimedia agreement generates more than $8.6 million, while the licensing agreement garners another $5.2 million a year.

The budget summary also forecasts a $1.9 million increase in ticket-related booster contributions and a $1.1 million net increase in football game revenue because of a reduction in game guarantees to opposing teams because one fewer home game is scheduled.

Booster contributions are part of a plan put in place in 2007, said Steve McClain, senior associate athletics director.

“We announced a booster increase plan in 2007; the first phase was implemented in 2008,” he said. “We only implemented 50 percent of the second phase in 2010, and we've postponed the remainder of the increase the past two years.”

The UAA also is paying $4 million to UF — a drop of $1.7 million from this year. Since 1990, the UAA has paid $73.9 million to UF. It helped UF during the past few budget cycles when the state's economy was in a downturn. The contribution was reduced for 2013-14 because the Legislature restored university funding levels and gave UF an additional $15 million to hire faculty and $43 million for capital improvements and maintenance repairs.

The budget includes $12.5 million for 278 scholarships — the maximum number the NCAA allows.

The UAA, Gator Boosters and the University of Florida Foundation also are committed to raising private donations to secure $50 million to renovate the Stephen C. O'Connell Center and $25 million to renovate the Student Athlete Academic Center, Foley said.

The O'Connell Center renovation is planned to begin this time next year, Foley said. The center has served the university well, Foley said, “but it is a 32-year-old building and needs to be renovated.”

UF spent more on athletics than any program in the Southeastern Conference and was ranked fourth among all universities in the nation based on 2010-11 data compiled by the National Sports Journalism Center at the University of Indiana and USA Today. The University of Texas had the largest budget for athletics, at $133.7 million.

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