Sports Column | Todd Hefferman: The haves and have-nots of the MVFC | National

Looking by the final three years’ value of monetary reviews for the 11 groups in the Missouri Valley Football Conference, you come away with one large conclusion: the divide between the haves and the have-nots has solely gotten greater.

We all knew North Dakota State invested greater than another college in the league into its soccer program. You do not win 38 straight video games with out that, at any degree, particularly at the Division I degree. The Bison have the highest teaching salaries — head coach Chris Klieman raked in additional than $555,000 throughout the 2018-19 season and deserved it, as his squad went 15-0 and received the complete factor — and have media rights offers and royalties/sponsorship offers that surpass anybody else in the MVFC. 

The most putting factor I discovered, outdoors of the price of an equestrian staff (keep tuned), was how NDSU made extra money in ticket gross sales than seven of the Valley Football packages made in a fiscal yr. Seven. More than SIU. More than Illinois State. More than Northern Iowa. You knew their following was a lot greater than anybody else, perhaps apart from South Dakota State and Youngstown State in the 1990s, however the numbers spell out a much bigger hole than I imagined.

Here are three different takeaways from the investigation into the league’s funds:

No. 1 — Equestrian is pricey

South Dakota State, which has the new Dykhouse Stadium and some of the costliest game-day tickets in the league, produced greater than $5 million in income. The Jackrabbits averaged almost 11,000 followers a sport final fall, third-best in the MVFC and 16th-best in all of the FCS. They drew greater than $3.2 million in donations, with $823,756 coming for the soccer program.

You know what program at SDSU drew extra donations than the soccer staff in fiscal yr 2019? The girls’s equestrian program, which has 40 folks on the roster this yr. Only 19 rivals acquired scholarship assist, based on SDSU’s report. Donors contributed $879,547 towards the equestrian program, which has an enormous facility and solely competed in 9 occasions in 2019-20. You have the scholarships for the gamers, the facility maintenance, which most likely had one thing to do with SDSU’s debt service price ticket of $878,093, and the care and journey of the horses.

No. 2 — North Dakota’s money prepare

NDSU’s soccer staff made extra money than another program at another college in the MVFC, and nonetheless misplaced money. The University of North Dakota males’s hockey staff made virtually as a lot, $5.69 million in fiscal yr 2019, and had a revenue of a whopping $1,230,719. 

The UND males’s hockey staff, the coronary heart and soul of the athletic division there, drew $4.05 million in ticket gross sales and greater than $244,000 in donations. Even with the head coach making $481,299, the program made an enormous revenue and helped the Fighting Hawks come out forward greater than $84,000 final yr. Check out the Alerus Center in case you make the journey with the soccer staff this spring to Grand Forks, North Dakota.

No. 3 — Indiana State on good floor

The Sycamores have been aggressive underneath coach Curt Mallory, regardless of restricted assets and one of the lowest wage swimming pools in the league. Indiana State did not draw effectively final yr (its $52,390 in ticket gross sales had been the worst in Valley Football) and did not get a ton in donations, however was in a position to compete, financially, with greater than $10 million in pupil charges. 

The $500,000 assure from Louisville throughout the 2018 season did not harm, however the Sycamores ought to be counseled for making extra from much less, on the subject and off. Indiana State was the solely program in the MVFC that made money yearly the final three years. Not rather a lot — we’re speaking about $150,000 as a substitute of the $42 million-plus Texas A&M’s division profited in the 2018-19 college yr — however that money goes a great distance. Indiana State had zero media rights {dollars} and simply over $256,000 in licensing, royalties and sponsorships, effectively under the league common, however got here out on the optimistic facet.

TODD HEFFERMAN covers Saluki Athletics for The Southern Illinoisan. Contact him at [email protected], 618-351-5087 or on Twitter at @THefferman.

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