Despite the disappointment of Wolverines fans after losing to the Texas Longhorns in the Rose Bowl two weeks ago, the University will still benefit from the team’s participation in the game.
The Bowl Championship Series, or BCS, will award approximately $18.3 million to the Big Ten conference because of the University’s involvement in the Rose Bowl. The University will receive about $1.66 million.
Since a Big Ten team makes it to one of the bowls every year, the money is given to the Big Ten Conference and then distributed equally to each school, with no additional funds given to the schools that qualified to play. BCS will not grant more money to the University than to any other Big Ten school.
The budget for the athletic department already includes this money received from BCS. Because it is expected that a Big Ten team will play in one of the bowls, the athletic department accounts for this increase in funds in its budget. The money finances the general expenses of the department. The budgeted amount of conference distributions for fiscal year 2004 was $1.8 million — a little more than what the University will actually get.
But last year’s bowl qualifications resulted in a little more money rewarded. When the Wolverines went to the Rose Bowl on the first day of 2004, Ohio State also qualified to play in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, another BCS game. This additional participation resulted in more money for the Big Ten Conference. The distribution was approximately $100,000 higher than budgeted because both teams played in BCS games.
Still, $100,000 does not make much difference for the athletic department, officials said. Bruce Madej, spokesman for the University’s athletic department said, “In a $60 million budget, $100,000 only helps with any shortfall problems.”
Madej added that there is little financial stability within the athletic department’s budget. “A rainy day on a Michigan football game makes the difference between being in the red or the black for us,” he said. “Any money received just goes back into running the budget.”
BCS also funded the University for any expenses incurred by the Rose bowl. The expense allowance for this year’s game was $1.9 million. Madej said the athletic department generally spends almost exactly the expense allowance amount.
“That money pays for everything from the band to the players, to transportation, food, putting up 125 football players in a hotel for nine days, for media guides and everything else that has to do with the Rose Bowl,” he said.
The NCAA report on expenses for the 2004 Rose Bowl included an additional $13,619 for the transportation of University officials, such as University President Mary Sue Coleman and members of the University Board of Regents.