AD Vince Tyra says financial situation is improving

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Vince Tyra doesn’t want to be a burden. He’s trying to guide Louisville athletics through the COVID-19 crisis without the need for a college bailout and has, so far, been successful.

“I know a lot of universities are filling in the gaps in athletic programming,” U of L’s athletic director said on Friday. “My goal was not to do that. My goal was not to take a dollar from college for the shortfall, nor to be secured on any of the debts, and we were able to do that.

It’s not often that an AD can celebrate a budget deficit of nearly $ 10 million, but the financial report submitted Friday at the University of Louisville Athletic Association meeting compares favorably with those of many U of L peers during the pandemic.

U of L athletics expenses exceeded revenues by $ 9.9 million in the first three quarters of fiscal 2021. Year over year, total revenues were down 53.5 million from $ 131.9 million to $ 78.4 million.

Yet as the University of Iowa has granted a $ 50 million loan to its normally self-sufficient sports department to cover COVID-19-related losses and the University of Cincinnati has reportedly transferred a record $ 32 , $ 9 million from its general fund and its tuition income to subsidize its sports programs. , Tyra manages her cash flow issues independently of the U of L central administration.

Following: U of L sporting director Vince Tyra expects 75-80% of football season ticket renewals

Through staff reductions, budget cuts, refinancing of $ 11.3 million of existing debt and taking out a new deferred loan of $ 20 million to Republic Bank for working capital, Tyra expects she can navigate the pandemic until normalcy is restored.

“Honestly,” he told the ULAA board of directors, “I think we did a great job.”

Compared to fiscal 2020, U of L’s operating expenses were reduced by $ 24.6 million. Staff reductions resulted in additional savings of $ 4.4 million. While that doesn’t make up for a $ 33.6 million drop between ticket sales and donations, Tyra hopes to reduce the deficit from $ 9.9 million to $ 5 million by year-end. June 30.

“As we were preparing this, we thought our deficit was going to be considerably larger – not just for this fiscal year, but next year and a few years after,” Tyra told the Courier Journal. “I was trying to defer the debt payments to the next year and then have two years of interest only (payments). We were able to accomplish this, which is good, (but) in the end, we’re in better shape (than expected).

Both loans are for 10 years at 2.93%, with no principal repayment before fiscal 2024. By then, it can be assumed that U of L’s income will be much stronger and higher. predictable. According to the financial summary presented by associate athletic director Jeff Spoelker, U of L’s revenue forecast has improved by $ 4 million since December.

Tyra said the $ 20 million loan will allow the U of L to manage a short-term shortfall and give the department the financial flexibility it has lacked since a 2018 deal with former sporting director Tom Jurich. estimated to be worth $ 7 million and football coach Bobby Petrino. $ 14 million buyout later that year.

Also: Louisville athletic director Vince Tyra refuses to sacrifice a sport for lack of budget

The outlook was optimistic enough on Friday that the ULAA’s finance and budget committee approved spending of up to $ 1.5 million for new scorecards for the field hockey and lacrosse of the ULAA. U of L. Other ongoing projects that are expected to gain traction as new funds flow in include a new indoor baseball facility and renovations to the Jim Patterson Stadium and the women’s tennis locker room.

“We couldn’t do it without the cooperation of the head coaches,” Tyra said. “I’m not sure they liked every meeting where I say, ‘No, no, no. but they have been awesome and so have our staff here, rallying around a vision.

This vision seems to be improving. Financially, at least, Vince Tyra can see it all.

Tim Sullivan: 502-582-4650, [email protected]; Twitter: @ TimSullivan714

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