Where do athletic department donations go?

Evan Sale, Campus Carrier Sports Editor

Avery Boulware, Campus Carrier Editor-in-Chief

At the beginning of each sports season, coaches send out emails and letter announcements to contributors asking them to help out so their season be as successful as possible. 

“People who contribute vary. It ranges from people who are community members, parents, former alumni and even various local organizations all sponsor the athletic department.”Athletic Director Todd Brooks said. “for example, we have past alumni who donate, we have families of athletes who donate, we have families of non athletes who donate. we even have corporate sponsors who donate in varoius of differnt ways.”

“I’d say the main focus of our boosters is the families of guys on the team.” Head Football coach Tony Kunczewski said.

Boosters give to specific teams from time to time, but most give money to help the athletic department as a whole. 

The teams who raise money for themselves by asking for donations get to keep a large amount of the money, but they don’t get to keep all of it. The athletic department has an “80 percent, 20 percent” rule. The team gets to keep 80 percent of the money that they raise, but the other 20 percent of that money goes directly to the athletic department. The 20 percent that goes to the athletic department is distributed throughout various teams, based on need. 

“We try to absorb as much as we can budgetarily, but we have to be good stewards as well.” Brooks said. “One thing that is possible for some teams do is put 100 percent of their donations into the athletic department.” 

The teams that put 100 percent of their donations into the athletic department get directly benefited from putting money in, they get their 100 percent on top of the 20 percent from every other team in order to take care of the needs they have. They identify a serious need and they put their 100 percent in and take 20 percent from each team to benefit them directly in order to complete a big project.

Teams that have used the 100 percent for their own benefit include the soccer team, who built the gate up at Ford Field and the track and field team who needed more space for their shot put area. 

Teams often use their money for various trips. For example, teams have been to places like Puerto Rico, California, Colorado, Florida and even overseas. 

“It gives teams greater opportunity to travel and get people the opportunity to do something they might otherwise not have” Brooks said. 

The teams choose what they do with the money and the athletic department likes to touch as little of that as possible. So teams sometimes like to get creative.

“We like to do a lot of team bonding and let the guys do something cool.” Kunczewski said. “Last year when playing Rhodes, in Memphis Tennessee we went to the Civil Rights museum. We’ve gone bowling. We have done things in the past all the way from taking the the guys to the The Football Hall of Fame, to going to Skyzone in Kennesaw. We take the guys on a hike to the house of dreams every spring and then have a huge barbeque which isn’t much but it costs a lot when you have 120 guys on the team.” 

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