This is not an indictment of women, it is not even an indictment of women playing basketball, but something has to give.
In the fiscal year ending 2010, of the public NCAA D-1 schools playing basketball, 93 percent of men's programs made money, not one women's basketball program made money.
You would have to think that with all the publicity, all the record breaking winning streaks and a coach that is on TV almost every night during the season, the Connecticut Huskies women's basketball team would have made tons of money. Not so. For the fiscal year 2010, the giants of women's basketball lost $740,000 dollars. OUCH.
Last year the average ticket price of NCAA men's games was $19.00, the average price for women's games was $7.00. Average attendance for all D-1 men's games was right around 5,100 and the women were at 1,100.
Is there a picture forming here, I think so. Women are not carrying their share of the load in basketball, the games in most cases are not exciting to watch and schools have to take hard look at the value of women's basketball.
What it boils down to is that the women basketball coaches are paid way to much money and ruins any chance of the a school making a profit. In this day of cutbacks, budget shortfalls and rising tuitions, there is no way that women's coach, who is the CEO of the program, should be paid 75 percent of revenues, which is the case at numerous schools. (For the record, it would be unheard for a business to pay the CEO 75 percent of revenues).
More stats......Sorry. In the six largest conferences, of the 53 public schools in those conferences, once again for the fiscal year ending in 2010, the men's basketball programs showed a profit of $240 million and women showed a loss of $109 million. In the Big Ten, the lowest profit for men was Purdue with $3 million, of course no women's teams even came close to a profit. Texas A&M, which won the NCAA championship women's basketball championship last year, in 2010 lost $2.4 million on their program.
Women, like men deserve a chance to play college basketball. There is nothing like the college experience of athletics and bonding with teammates, many of which you will have as friends for life.
What not is deserved is what women basketball coaches make in salary. Perhaps many of the men coaches are making too much, but if they are showing a profit, it is hard to argue. True it is the fault of the schools for giving these coaches too much money, but as we move down the road, something is going to have to give.
In the year 2013, Geno Auriemma at Connecticut will be making $1.8 million and his team will still be losing money. This is a business model that no one can justify as being good, as are all the other documented statistics about the staggering financial losses for women's college basketball. True there are other lesser sports that lose money, but with women's basketball on TV every night of the week, basketball being a high profile sports and men showing a profit at 93 percent of the schools, change should not even be considered, it should be necessary.
If schools cut total academic programs out as many have done, cut back on all employees, then they sure as heck better start thinking about cutting the salaries of women's basketball coaches, which is dragging the programs down and heading for an economic meltdown.
Act now before there is nothing left to act on.
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