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Trojans, Bruins Balance Their Budgets

October 16, 2003|Gary Klein and Mike DiGiovanna | Times Staff Writers

The cardinal and gold is back in the black.

For the first time since the 1998-99 school year, USC's athletic department balanced its budget, according to a report that all universities were required to submit Wednesday to the Department of Education as part of Title IX compliance.

UCLA balanced its athletics budget for the ninth year in a row, a streak that began the year the school cut men's swimming and men's gymnastics. The budget surplus of nearly $300,000 was slightly lower than past years because of significant tuition increases and because the school was paying two football staffs and two men's basketball staffs during the year.

USC wound up with a surplus of about $12,000 for the 2002-03 school year. The year before, the shortfall was just over $4 million.

"One of our goals as an athletic department is to operate with a balanced budget," said Steve Lopes, a senior associate athletic director at USC. "We were successful last year, and this year looks just as good."

USC administrators said the improvement last year was largely attributable to the football team's successful season.

The Trojans, co-champions of the Pacific 10 Conference, played in the Orange Bowl, made more network television appearances and increased game-day ticket sales. In 2001-02, when the Trojans played in the Las Vegas Bowl, football generated $19,998,767 on expenses of just over $13.1 million. Last year, USC football generated nearly $26,778,686 in revenue on expenses of just under $14.4 million.

Men's basketball generated nearly $3.5 million on expenses of $2.42 million.

Other men's teams at USC spent nearly $5 million and generated about $947,000.

UCLA football generated almost $19.9 million in revenue on expenses of $16 million.

Men's basketball generated $7.7 million on expenses of $4.35 million. Other men's sports at UCLA spent $4.45 million and generated $1.03 million.

About $8.3 million was spent on USC women's programs that generated only $915,098. UCLA women's teams generated $715,000 on expenses of $9.54 million.

The primary purpose of the report, which is required by the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act of 1994, is to determine whether colleges are making progress toward complying with gender equity laws.

The goal is for athletics to mirror the gender makeup of the student body.

In the 2002-03 school year, USC's undergraduate student population of 16,145 was 49.9% male. There were 313 male athletes (52.8%) and 280 female athletes (47.2%).

At UCLA, which added women's rowing, 55.5% of the 24,453 undergraduates were women. Of the school's 758 athletes, 13,579 (52.6%) were women.

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