MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University’s athletics department, nearly $13 million in the red during fiscal year 2011-12, projects only about a $50,000 shortfall this year, Oliver Luck told the WVU faculty senate Monday.

“That may change a little bit as we sell season tickets and get the Mountaineer Athletic Club going during the course of May and June,” said Luck, the school’s athletics director. “But we feel very comfortable that we’ll have a very small shortfall.”

The current fiscal year ends June 30.

Luck once again anchored last year’s debt to the $20 million exit fee West Virginia paid the Big East Conference in order to realign with the Big 12. His department also paid $500,000 to buy out a football matchup against Florida State. WVU’s athletic revenue was $80,064,869, ranking 28th nationally, but it spent $92,968,960 (13th highest). The athletic department received about $4.4 million in subsidies from the university.

“Go back to fiscal year 11-12, take out some of those extraordinary items, and we actually would have had a net adjusted income of $5.6 million,” Luck said.

The Mountaineers will receive only a half-share of their Big 12 revenue this year, incrementally escalating to 67 percent in fiscal-year-ending 2014 and 85 percent in 2015 before finally netting a full share in 2015-16.

“We recognized that going into this conference we would have a couple of challenging years financially,” Luck said. “But over the long term, certainly beginning in the fiscal year 14-15, we’re projecting to see some significant operating surpluses.”

Luck claimed WVU’s outstanding loan debt ($30 million) is the lowest of the Big 12’s eight public institutions, with its league counterparts averaging loan debt that exceeds $100 million.

“When you read about the arms race in college athletics, there’s a lot of folks who borrowed a lot of money to build a lot of infrastructure,” he said. So we’re glad that we can compete all the great things that put you in the Big 12, but also that we’re able to do that in a relatively prudent fashion.”

Along with increasing travel expenses, WVU’s position as the Big 12’s geographical outlier creates concerns about late-returning athletes not being fresh for class. One faculty member said she witnessed the grades of some athletes suffering during finals.

Luck, however, said WVU’s teams coped well with this year’s new travel demands.

“We’ve had instances where one of the basketball teams will get home at 3 or 4 in the morning,” he said. “We encourage them to get up in the morning and get to class, and certainly Coach Huggins and Coach Carey will have ’em do all sorts of drills if they don’t.

“I haven’t seen any other evidence of any academic challenges beyond the two basketball programs.”

Luck said WVU sends tutors and academic advisers on some charter flights, helping maximize the study opportunities for athletes away from campus. He also recounted requests WVU made for Big 12 basketball regarding earlier start times for weeknight road games and scheduling a Saturday-Monday layover that consumes two travel games before spring semester.

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  • Hillbilly

    You think Luck can bankrupt WVU like he did in Europe???????????????

  • Doug

    WILLIAM, you're a Wackjob! Your comments are always so negative and get soooooooooo old!!!!! Why don't you just put your green Marshall outfit on, go to your room and play your video games.

    Luck made the best out of a very bad situation. The phony ACC didn't want us (apparently not up to their pristine standards) and sadly that would have been a perfect fit. All of our natural rivals are there. A Northeastern Conference makes no sense.
    It would be made up of a bunch of no names and would have dragged WV down to their level. Recruiting quality players would have been impossible.

    So let's buck up WV fans and accept the situation we're in. I guarantee WV will be competitive in football and basketball very, very quickly!

    For those of you who just want to moan, do like WILLIAM, get yourselves green Marshall outfits and play those stupid video games!!!!!

  • Season Ticket Holder

    Yes the price of Season tickets did go up, if you have enough since to understand that you payed the same amount and this year there is one less home game. 7 last year (8 if you count the James Madison game which is a joke to be called a home game.) 6 this year so the same amount of money divided by less product means price increase. You watch when they pick up a 7th home game again they will claim they have to raise the price cause of the extra game. Mark my words.

  • JimJim

    Lucky, NFL Europe, look it up!!!

    • Charles

      Look up what he did in Houston.

  • big tom

    thank God for the rifle team

  • Woodchuck

    I guess the party and trophy for the rifle team went over budget!

    We do have ONE champion.


      Yes, thank goodness for the rifle team. They perform great, year after year!!

      • Shadow

        And no support from Luck. They do it on their own and are the best.

  • big tom

    i think wvu will do well in the future,,, finanically,,, that is.... Luck is a sharp mind, he screwed up on tier 3 rights but over all a great man.

    huggins agains needs to produce and go to t he big dance this yr, or fire him.
    10,000 a day is out of the question with losing teams... this iscrazy..
    i think luck overspent on huggs... and huggs and laughing to the bank, andpartying all the way,,,, let's put some incentives on huggs's contract... win or you're gone

    • Shadow

      One question, was the IMG situation a quid pro quo situation for Luck? Who knows!

  • JS

    Maybe Huggs will give up 5 days pay to keep us even for the year. Right, WILLIAM? LOL!!!

    • cutty77

      Huggs will get a pass for this past year,and he deserves that.If this Team contines to under-preform Huggs will not put up with Himself either.Remember he has a Buy-Out or Walk Away clause in his new Contract. In The Year 2015. Remember that Date.

      • big tom

        why does anyone making this kind of money get a pass............ insane,
        one more yr of this 13-19 and i won't buy another ticket to any wvu function until he is fired
        and look at his stellar recruit,,, three felonies pending,,, porno, thieft of a laptop,,, what is luck doing, sleeping on the job like pastilong did.
        things just maybe staying the same only the names have changed,,, instead of garrison, pastilong , stewart, we now have clemons, luck and huggins.

  • cutty77

    WVU is in The Best Shape it has ever Been in Sports and Class Room work. When we were in The Big East they were so bad at paying us our Money,because they held on to it for a entire year or two.As for season Tickets they don't report them untill the month of June. I guess everybody missed the New Big 12 money split. The least it will be is 26 mill per Team,and as Much as 28 mill,without Tier 3 rights. In this article it stated WVU an Texas as getting payed over 9 mill. a year on 3rd tier rights. Say what you want to about Oliver.WVU is set up right for the Future. By The way The ACC gets the least amount per Team 17 mill. Get U Sum Of That. LOL

  • Mike

    you guys are too funny at least we are moving in the right direction. The Big 12 was the right move and now we need to start winning in every sport and prove we belong because ACC, BIG 10 & SEC did want us so with that said lets start pulling for WVU to WIN!!!! AND WIN BIG!!!!!

  • GravityDefier

    Mr. Taylor, come out of your Ivory Tower and do some real reporting. How many football season tickets have been sold so far this year compared to last year???

  • GravityDefier

    I have not seen a published report on the number of football season tickets sold so far this year as opposed to last year. I'd bet they are off, or down, by as much as 50%. Maybe that is why we have not heard of a number yet. It'll be a huge decline. That will have Dollar Bill Ollie sitting up and taking notice.

  • luke

    I must have missed Luck's prediction last year for spending $12,000,000 more than WV would take in.

    What, no report on Tier 3 by anyone in the Athletic Department? Oh I forgot, we're still greasing the skids for IMG College to further rip off WVU fans and advertisers.

    • nh

      Did you miss the part about the debt being caused by the exit fee paid to leave the Big East?

      Explain how IMG College will rip off WVU fans. If anything, the deal with IMG allows the brand to extend its reach and allows for increased marketability.

      Just cheer on the Mountaineers and the numbers will take care of themselves.

      • luke

        Check your ticket prices and MAC costs. They are already rearranging the seating in the Coliseum.

        • Charles

          Prices are the same as last year retard!!!!! I paid the same for the same seats. Come see me. Section 129. Just making people pay what their section calls for. Noooooo increases.

          • Charles

            But hey. I get it. We should of stayed in the big east. Be like uconn. I bet you would've paid the big bucks to see temple and uconn at mps. Just like the rest of our fans. Boy it would be fun to win the AAC. And get invited to no where. You either play big boy football or not. Big east was dead when Pitt and Syracuse voted down the 1.5 billion tv big east deal. After that we had to make a move. And the acc would of never taken us!!!!!!! Period. Big 12 schools love us. Wish our old timers would understand and get in board. They understand our state and university better than elitist northern schools ever did. Out there they want the farmers kid to have a chance like our coal miners kids. Not a bunch of snobs like The acc where a kid from mcdowell has a chance.

      • hailey

        Luke would not want the facts to get in the way of a good trolling

  • Mountainman

    Too bad the IMG deal was delayed.... as WVU's Athletic Department would have been in the black by a considerable margin if that had not been the case.

    • luke

      I hear Marshall is awash in money as a result of IMG College handling their media rights! Likewise Pitt!

      • Mountainman

        ......No Product equals No Market...... that's the difference.

        • luke

          7-6 and 13-19 is a product? In a league that is at least 4th in football and maybe 6th in basketball among the BCS conferences. We aren't selling Wheaties here.

          • Charles

            Football fourth??? Are you retarded? Really. 9 out of 10 on bowl games. Do you even watch football???

  • JSpurlock86

    Looks like the future will be bright for WVU athletics!!!!

    Stop being so negative people, geez!!!!!!

    • hailey

      They are called trolls that is what they do ...bring nothing to the table just trying to stir the pot