Earlier this year, officials from UTRGV took their first major steps toward finally creating a college football program in the RGV and absolutely nothing about this is a good idea.
Heading up UTRGV’s “feasibility study committee” which includes local, university and NCAA advisers, is fomer Texas Head Coach Mack Brown. The committee’s main objective is to determine, simply, if UTRGV can draw enough interest from the area to make it “financially feasible” to prop-up a college football program.
This is how it’ll play out:
By about January of 2017, the committee (again made up of mainly locals) will be charmed to death by Coach Brown and Oliver Luck (you might know his son, Andrew) with phrases like “football will increase enrollment…community…unify sports..yadda yadda yadda..” and the committee will report back to UTRGV AD Chris King with favorable results. King, a glorified middle-man in all of this, will subsequently rubber stamp it off to UTRGV President Guy Bailey, who will then pray and send it up to the gods of the UT-System Board of Regents, to which they will happily return a resounding “OK!” by mid-2017. By 2019, local business owners, King and Bailey will break ground on the brand new “Vackar/Cantu Fuck-a-thon Stadium” with all the bells and whistles a $50 million will bring including a giant “Dale Gas” mega-tron, godzillatron scoreboard. By 2021, UTRGV football will finally take the field to host their first game and get blown out by 55 points against West Texas Agricultural University For The Deaf. 2 years later, the luster of having college football in the RGV will be gone because it’s very likely that they won’t be a winning program anytime soon. The Vaqueros will play in silent vacuum of a tomb as the 55,000 capacity stadium will average about 2,000 every Saturday and we’ll all wonder why on Earth we spent so much money to make this happen.
So, let’s save everybody some time and answer if it’s financially feasible for UTRGV to run a football team. Of course it’s financially feasible (read: possible) the same way it’s financially feasible for some guy who makes $25K a year to finance a 2017 Mercedes S550. Sure it’s possible as long as the guy can live without a home or buying food. So the question, really, isn’t if it’s “financially feasible” but if it’s financially responsible.
The real-world data that is out there shows that a large majority of football programs are financial losers for their schools. In 2014, NCAA FBS football programs had a median operating loss of $14.73 million, up from $11.63 million the previous year. In today’s arms race to recruit the nation’s top athletes, pay coaches a ridiculous amount of public money, and keep-up-with-the-Jones’s by building the best http://www.sildenafil-online.org/ facilities, the veil of “college football can bring in big money” simply doesn’t exist. The cold reality is that only a handful of programs actually make enough money to support themselves and even LESS make enough to give back to their respective universities.
The following college football programs (some of which have been playing football for longer than UTRGV has even been chartered) all reported operating losses for 2014:
To top it off, these are schools in Power Five conferences, meaning, they get all SORTS of money from conference TV deals, endorsements, merchandise and ticket sales. Even with all that income pouring in, these universities are STILL playing in the red.
But this is TEXAS! Football is king here, right? The following are the net-operating results for Texas schools in 2014:
Tier 1: Universities that have large Xanax pharmacy fan bases across the state.
Texas: +$94 million
Texas A&M: +$86.6 million
Texas Tech: +$22 million
Tier 2: Larger universities with recent success and large regional fan bases.
TCU: +$5.8 million
Houston: -$7.1 million
Tier 3: Private or smaller universities with smaller regional fan bases (where UTRGV would be).
UTSA: -$5.4 million
UTEP: -$3.4 million
Texas State: -$4.8 million
North Texas: -$6.4 million
Rice: $0 (not kidding, but they’re private so they can say whatever number they want)
SMU: $0 (same thing but probably bullshit to save face from reporting their actual losses)
So, let’s say UTRGV football opens up $10 million in the hole from net operating expenses, it would most likely require UTRGV to substantially increase enrollment somewhere north of 2,500 new students on average per year to make up the deficit the football program has put them in AND offset costs for the increase in student enrollment (hire more staff, maintenance, afford more scholarships, etc.) which isn’t likely at all. On it’s face, UTRGV football is simply a giant waste of time and money just to give local business owners something to jizz their name on.