Theres no such thing as too much money
Do we have too much $$$?
A wise old sage once said: "Mo money, Mo problems."
Of course, I wouldn't know, but I would like to try and find out.
A few friends (and loyal fans) have been priced out of the market by the seat taxes. Maybe that has to be, I don't know. But to then see this kind of money being spent on these kinds of things just disappoints me.
As one of those loyal fans who has been priced out (and former 14 year season ticket holder with two UM degrees), I wholeheartedly agree with that sentiment.
While I understand that law of supply and demand, it still surprises me that with the economy being so poor over the last few years, tickets just seem to get harder and harder to obtain.
There is a roof, just ask Penn State. However, Dave Brandon will do his very best to bump up against it and not exceed it.
I'm sure some people said the same thing about spending almost a million on a 85,000 seat stadium to be used exclusively for football.
Ans that was before the Great Depression.
I believe he was an undergrad at that time...
If you've got to be in an arms race, you might as well win.
1. The money is obviously there. It's not as if DB is taking a loan to pay for this stuff.
2. It's not as if the rest of campus is hurting for anything. Have you seen the renovations to Angell and the new Life Sciences building?!
I visited Raleigh-Durham two years ago and was impressed by their museum/HOF for their basketball team. I would argue that Michigan's football team is more storied than Duke basketball. It is only fitting that there be a museum.
You shouldn't say "their" about Raleigh-Durham when referring to Duke. Duke is Durham and NC State is Raleigh and they don't particularly like each other. It's not nearly as palpable as UNC - Duke, but the lines in the sand are drawn, you do not....
2. It's not as if the rest of campus is hurting for anything. Have you seen the renovations to Angell and the new Life Sciences building?!
I don't know so much about that. I think the University needs to do some serious introspection at tuition costs. I'm coming out several tens of thousands of dollars in debt - which is fine because I knew what I was getting myself into and worked my ass off to make sure that it would be a sound investment.
But at some point, UM is going to start pricing out the lower middle class that aren't eligible for need-based scholarships but also can't have family pay for their education.
I'd much rather see more (they already give some) money from athletics donated to the general scholarship fund.
No, people have too many opinions about things they can't control wanting it their way too often. I don't like a big sign but the majority does and it's obvious by looking around the country. But folks want to pout and stomp their feet, my way my way. I like the this is Michigan fergodsakes attitude when it is positive but I'm often embarrassed by arrogance that can accompany that attitude. We are not above everyone else, if we wanted to be terrible people thinking we are we should have gone to ND.
You have to spend money, to make money... At least at this level.... (leaders and best for a reason...
I thought it was $2.5 million on the sign, not $12 million.
the balance is for Schembechler Hall
"Too much money" is not a bad thing, but I question the selection of places to spend it. Perhaps some of the non-revenue sports could use that $12M in a way that would provide more value to the university and student-atheletes than a huge sign and building expansion that will primarily benefit football.
A rising tide (or fund balance) should lift ALL boats--not just the flagship.
isn't the board intended to advertise the non-rev sports?
I must ask what constitutes "too much money" in this case, considering that most Division I athletic departments actually don't have any money at the end of the day.
For those interested, here is the FY 2013 budget - link.
I dare say that we have one of the more intelligently managed athletic departments, going on over a decade of being in the black - there are only a handful of Division I programs that could say that, I imagine. Further, it is one of literally a few athletic departments that is self-sufficient and not reliant on the parent school to remain solvent. We should be proud of that, I believe.
I believe it was stated in a few articles posted some time back that a fair number of the small projects in the grand renovation scheme for South Campus were going to be funded from revenue generated by gifts and donations essentially, so the marquee will likely come from money freely given to the department, not necessarily come from the revenue generated normally.
The fact is that, when you have a well-run athletic department with storied programs and a devoted alumni/alumnae and fan base, you're going to make a profit AND have money given to you in order to ensure that you can continue to provide top-notch facilities and services to student-athletes. There is no reason not to continue to be first-class.
If Brandon keeps raising the price and we keep paying then it is not too much money. It IS a bit disturbing to think how much we are wiling to spend on watching people run around on a field/court, but this is 'Murricah, if you don't like it you can GIT OUT!!
this is totally unrelated to this thread, but i love your avatar.
"I wash myself with a rag on a stick." hahaha
Maybe giving money to charity, Mott hospital, or providing grants to sports psychologists would be a better idea? You sure are right though, there has been a ton money spent on Michigan Athletics (read Basketball and Football). I just went on Google and Bing to try to compare current day appearance to the appearance of the new Bo hall and Marquee, all the sites are at least two construction seasons behind and it looks nothing similar to current day. Sheesh.
Money can't buy you love, but it sure as shit can buy you happiness. You ever been sad on a jet ski? Hell no. I've been alone on a jet ski, but I've never been sad.
Too bad you can't ride a jet ski 24/7.
If I were rich I could. Happiness.
But let's be honest. I'd rather have too much than too little.
I could care less about the money spent to put up a (dumb) marquee for 2.5 mil if they just have it laying around but I start to care more when we see the ticket prices rise by $5-10 dollars every year.
I understand the economics of the situation (keep raising the price until they stop paying) and IIRC Brian did a nice cost analysis a while back but we also have a good 20,000 more paying patrons in our stadium than most ADs so why the hell do I need to pay $85 bucks a ticket to watch UMass from row 80 from the south endzone.
I'm in that young professional part of my life where I *want* to spend the money on tickets so I do but damn man, I'm not sure how much more of this I can take. I will be interested to see what comes about the planned expansion in the south endzone as frankly I dont see the demand being high enough to sustain those additional seats.
But interestingly my experience is with older fans now being priced out of the market.
Couldn't care less...
I don't see what the big deal is... I see this on other campuses. Georgia tech has a marquee on 85/75. This is not abnormal.
Supply and Demand.. If the seats continue to be full and people keep paying the prices for the tickets then I have no problem.. Schem Hall and Marque are going to be paid for by Ath. Dept... So in Short, NO
You have to spend money if you want to make money. This is as ridiculous as the whole "I can't believe Brady Hoke makes so much money when professors are living in poverty with their $110,000/year salary" thing. People, you have to spend money to make money. This involves keeping up your stadium and its peripherals. Unfortunately, nowadays this is what draws in recruits. I know that you can scrutinize each individual case and question whether the spending is "worth it" but as a whole, this stuff needs to be done.
let me know.
Okay I'm sorry if I overshot what an average professor's salary is. I really wouldn't know. It doesn't change the point though.
Try around $45k for a junior professor without tenure. The only profs making $110k are department heads and a select number of medical, law school, and business school faculty members. Those faculty members bring in much more than that in grants.
Assistant Professor: $85,800
Associate Professor: $98,200
To expand upon the point, the average "professor" actually has the title of "Instructor," so it is not incorrect to say "professors" aren't all making 100k.
In fact, I think the technical "professor" term may refer to a tenured professor, but now I'm just speculating.
Instructor and Assistant Professor don't usually have tenure (and Instructor usually won't be a tenure track position, as Assistant Professor is usually the junior-most tenure track rank), Associate Professor's and Professor's generally have tenure.
Looking at the Ford School, it looks like there are equal numbers of full professors and lecturers (Instructor from the first link) with a smaller but relatively equal amount of assistant and associate professors. That could be a unique case compared to LSA or another college, I don't know and don't really want to spend the time looking.
Just to clarify, I don't think all faculty anywhere are making $110,000. It was just something I thought might be worth a quick Google and copy/pasted the salaries for different seniorities.
I also started to look, but then realized there's simply no fast way to do it.
That's the salary of every U-M employee. I quickly went through some of my grad school instructors and only one was over 100k. Most were instructors or Assoc/Asst Profs. Only one full-blown prof, whatever all that means. Most of the 200k+ educators are in med school, FWIW.
Here's a non-patisan political observation regarding money...
In 1960, JFK ran the federal government on just $100 Billion. (Adjusted for inflation, this would be around $800 Billion today.)
Our current federal budget is around $2.5 Trillion (about 3 times as much).
Some say it's too much in the hands of the Feds. Others say it's not enough.
The perception of money is a funny thing.
$2.627 trillion (requested)
$2.469 trillion (enacted)
$3.729 trillion (requested)
$3.796 trillion (enacted)
But hey a 100 billion here and a 100 billion there, eventually you're talking about real money, right?
And it's more than $12 million for a sign and museum; Schembechler has been outdated for awhile. They're going to fix it up. And really, what did the upgrades to the Art Museum cost? No one complains about that. And shouldn't.
I also get the feeling that a lot of people complaining about spending money would still be complaining if we started winning 4 games a year because our facilities looked like Indians's.
I want our core facilities to crumble so we can't recruit top talent and we don't win more than 4 games per year. That's what I meant when I said I want our teams to thrive.
Jeez, we can't have a serious and nuanced discussion even on MGoBlog?
You say we shouldn't be spending money on upgrading Schembechler Hall. Schembechler Hall certainly isn't crumbling and is serviceable. But it's been surpassed not ven too long after it was built; and that was a long time ago. It sticks out like a sore thumb on the athletic campus. Recruits are impressed by those things. Upgrading basketball's facilities certainly got us back in that recruiting game. Football isn't so bad, but they're competing ith the best of the best too. You don't need to be at the point of crumbling to need to upgrade. The only one who seems to have problems with nuance is you, and you're mad at MGoBoard's level of discussion because a lot of people disagree with you.
What I'm disappointed about in this discussion is you painting me as someone who wants to let our facilities get to the equivalent of Indiana's, and then acusing me of being someone who would turn around and bitch about our facilities. Uh, no, that's not me. I support what was done to the Big House and Crisler, and other facility upgrades too. I understand these upgrades cost a ton of money, and maybe they required the new seat taxes. Notice in my posts where I've acknowleded some level of this stuff may be the price of competing at a level for the president's cup?
My concern is that perhaps (alert: nuance here, so I'll repeat ... PERHAPS) the revenue structure has resulted in Brandon actually getting more revenue than we truly need to compete at the top level. And PERHAPS one of the costs of that revenue generating model is that long-term, loyal fans are being dumped by the wayside because they can't afford to pay the steeply rising costs of tickets and taxes. PERHAPS the revenue model is flooding Brandon's bank account and he needs to find things to spend money on quickly, so he doesn't have a ballooning fund balance.
I think we may still be able to win 11 games without the marquee. And I think, perhaps, the Glick Fieldhouse and new weight room (twice in the last few years?) will help with recruiting for a few years, even if we don't have a museum in the interim.
I don't care at all about neg-bomb voting or if others disagree with me and feel like our finances are just where they should be. This is why created the thread, to discuss this. What I do care about is when people like you paint people like me as taking an extreme position when that is not what I've done. You should settle down, and not feel the need to paint me as someone who is ready to let our facilities get to Indiana's levels, when nothing I've written supports that view.
... a really uninspiring (to me) facade/museum(?) ". That doesn't sound like you're that unsure. So let's break it down. Does $2.8 million (which is expensive, maybe too much so, but not the 1st or primary cost of that $12 mil) help us win football games? No. That's not it's point. It's to try and get more people to go to OTHER sports. And will that help recruit in those sports? Yes. Recruits don't want to play in empty arenas. Heck, even basketball is embarrassingly empty at times. Compared to MSU or Duke's environment, it's going to hurt going after the same guy.
The weight room wasn't changed to impress recruits, but to fit the styles of different strength coaches and their goals. If you don't have players being the best they can be or the system they're in, you lose more games. And I'm not sure what other football buildings you've seen, but Schembechler was almost outdated before it was finished. Why does it need to be fixed when you have Glick and weight room improvements? Because you're oing against schools that have cutting edge facilitates for all three and more. Check out Texas, Oregon, and the other Jones.
You are basically asking not that we have bottom of the barrel facilities, but second class facilities, because they're "good enough", and will save everyone a buck. And prices are getting worrisome. But you could say the same thing about the University as a whole and every increasing tuition. They can't afford O have 2nd hand results, because they have to pay for everything.
They should build a new place to play roller hockey since they the tuba players and their bad knees took elbel away from us
Are we too rich?
Or too thin...
Let's recall that just recently Pauper Dave was pleading poverty when it came to sending the Band to Dallas. I'm not saying we have too much $, just that a couple million for the marquee is perhaps not he best way to spend said $.
Is overdue for some much needed rennovations. Schembechler hall is very 'blah'. The new rennovations will add some flare to the facade with glass on the outside, as you mentioned, but will also maintain the integrity of the rest of the building with matching brick. Also, the rennovations call for a recruiting lounge (which we don't have right now) that can really add mystique when recruits come on visits. Michigan state made similar rennovations to their memorial hall and it looks really great.
As for the marquee, it might seem useless (probably is), but I do think that it brings some new-age flare where alums and people sensitive to the tradition of Michigan football won't freak out--outside of the stadium. Plus, $2.8 million is miniscule, especially when you're working with a budget surplus from the previous year.
I don't think there's anything wrong with spending money to improve facilities, especially when we're improving a building that holds the history of our program and will be a mainstay for recruiting for years to come. You have to remember that the college football arms race, not unlike advertising in corporate America, is somewhat of a prisoner's dilemma. We throw money at facilities because if we don't, we know that the competition will and nobody likes to fall behind...especially the leaders and the best.
Gotta keep up with the Joneses.
You have to remember, the AD has to pay tuition for all the student-athletes, and that expense has been rising faster than the rate of inflation for years. Given that, I don't think you can ever have too much money at hand.
Stop listening to Obama. It's ok to be successful and rich.
...it means the university is going to have to hire people to do the work. This is good for the state of Michigan assuming those workers are from Michigan. These workers will have to pay taxes (although probably too much) on these incomes which will help the state income tax base. They will also buy stuff with the money they earn which will end up in the pockets of someone else. And so on and so forth.
It's the theory of money velocity - how fast does money move between spend entities. A healthy "speed limit" for this is unknown/debated, but I think a lot of economist wish it was faster these days. The alternative is that these funds can simply be saved which will make its way to start-ups, car loans, mortgages, etc.
The point being. It may suck that prices are being raised and pricing certain people out of going to games. But other people are willing to pick up where you left off and in doing so will eventually benefit the construction workers, tax reciepients, local start-up, etc etc.
Point being #2. There is no such thing as having too much money.
Businesses spend their profit in one of three ways: 1) capital expenditures 2) M&A 3) dividends.
For a football program, #2 is clearly out of the question (although it would be awesome if we could buy one of our poorly performing rivals and make them a feeder program - just imagine, Little Brother could be more than a nickname).
#3 represents giving that money back to the athletic department and/or school at large, which we already do by funding the rest of the sports.
That leaves #1. Buying signs, renovating buildings, paying for top notch staff. Personally I'd rather spend more on our coaches and less on garish signs, but I see the MBA-style logic in DB's decision here.
The fourth possibility is just giving the money away to charity or whatever. I think I speak for most of us cynical folk here when I say that we won't be giving away any significant money after chasing the dollars with such vigor in the first place.
...just a thought :)
thru lower ticket and seat tax prices.
you're a dreamer, might and main
And before I am again, let me qualify my statement: I want the AD's revenue to at a level that is required for our teams to compete at the highest levels. But I don't want it to be higher than that.
Interesting idea, but where do you draw the line? Does "highest levels" mean top 5 or top 25? Clearly, we need to be in the same ballpark as Ohio State, but the fan in me wants to be #1. Texas is Texas, and blows everyone out of the water for revenue. But what benefit do they get from taking in more money than everybody else? Has all that money done anything to mitigate the horrendous product on the field?
I wouldn't exactly say Texas has a "horrendous product" on the field. Yes, they had a tough 2011, but they were extremely successful in the decade before then.
If 2011 wasn't horrendous, then they don't need to be drawing that much revenue. Relative to input(revenue), output(results) sorely disappointed.
The question I was trying to ask is: How much worse would the results have been if UT football revenue was 10% percentile instead of #1. This may be a bad example, as I'm not well informed on how the program allocates its capital.
No such thing as too many resources.
I don't know the answer to that but if the athletic department is generating money in excess of what it needs then why not either 1.) lower the price of tickets or 2.) offer some of that money back to the University's general scholarship fund so that fewer students will be graduating with debt? If we are truly rich, then there's no reason for any of our graduates to be leaving school with large education debts.
Universities view students and fans as customers, not stakeholders. That's probably the wrong way to go about things, and if you look at the student loan bubble, you'll see the results.
We already do #2. My understanding is that the athletic department pays out-of-state tuition for all scholarship athletes, regardless of where they're from. That's an extremely unusual arrangement (most schools do the opposite - have them pay in-state tuition) and amounts to a significant subsidy to the university each year.
I don't like to see so much spent on something like football, especially when there are so many problems in the world. However we saw what happened when the football program took a step back (for a multitude of reasons, not just RR) under RR's tenure. Michigan fans and alums went bonkers.
So if we fall behind the joneses in athletic facilities I don't think the fan/alum base would be too happy. So the money is spent....
This is why we couldn't have nice things for a long time. Why did we have Gerg? Cause the AD wasn't willing to pay up for a credible DC, are we seriously going to go after him for spending money to raise the Michigan brand?
And I'm glad they renovated the Big House and Crisler. I'm glad they've renovated other facilities too. Meanwhile, I am raising the question of whether the revenue is coming in faster now than he knows what do with?
If not, then great. But if so, I'd rather see a bit less revenue coming in, if that allowed fan costs to rise somewhat slower, so that long-time loyal fans can still participate.
So basically, what you want is cheap tickets.
You don't have to rant and rave - just try StubHub or scalp them outside the stadium.
Show me where I ranted and raved. You can't, because I didn't. But if you too want to paint reasonable discussion as extremism, fine, but it does the Board no service.
I understand ticket prices have to rise. I want the revenue to be high enough to support championship programs. I just don't want them to be so high that the AD doesn't know what to with more money than they need.
Is that a rant?
You can make a reasonable case that the entirety of d-I revenue athletics is hugely corrupting and we shouldn't participate (though I wouldt ultimately agree). But as someone else said, if you are going to do it you might as well win. I see the upside of being Chicago football, not so much the upside of just being Minnesota football.