NIT expenses worth it


At a school that just gave its football coach a $750,000 raise per year, 10 percent of that feels like tip money.

But that’s about what Florida spent on its three-game run in the National Invitation Tournament, right around $75,000 according to UAA executive associate athletic director Chip Howard.

Had the O’Connell Center been available, Florida would have hosted all three rounds and actual would have made some money. But the O-Dome is under construction forcing the Gators to travel, despite being a No. 2 seed in their bracket.

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The NIT covers expenses for a traveling party of up to 25 people (including players, coaches and trainers). Florida, as it does for all road games, takes more than 25, hence the extra expense.

The Gators did benefit from a fairly inexpensive trip to Jacksonville to face North Florida and took smaller parties to Columbus, Ohio, and Washington, D.C.

Still, after expenses are reimbursed, the University Athletic Association will take a $75K hit. The truth is that it was well worth it. The NIT games gave Florida national exposure, almost two extra weeks of practice time, three more games to play together and perhaps a little confidence heading into next season.