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Breaking down the Drexel Athletics budget | The Triangle
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Breaking down the Drexel Athletics budget

Photo by Tasnim Taifa | The Triangle

Students at Drexel are aware of just how popular the university’s DI teams are. It is clear that an abundant amount of money is put into DI teams – but do students know exactly how much? In fiscal year 2022-2023, Drexel’s expenses for all athletic teams totaled $27,110,962. Across 18 teams (nine men’s and nine women’s), there were 244 male participants and 218 female participants. 

In 1994, Congress passed the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act requiring universities that receive financial aid from the government to disclose information about their athletics programs. Every year, this report is released to the public. 

One of the most interesting pieces of information included in the EADA report is the financial information, which is broken down into categories. All of the categories are broken down by gender (men’s and women’s teams), and some categories are split up by sport as well. 

Drexel’s EADA report includes sections on athlete participation, coaching salaries, student aid, recruiting, operating expenses and total expenses. 

The first expense broken down by sport is operating expenses, also known as “game-day expenses.” Game-day expenses are those directly relating to the athlete, including uniforms, equipment, travel, meals, and lodging for away games and officials. These expenses are calculated per person. The top five teams that have the highest operating expenses are:

Top five operating expenses per person

  1. Men’s Basketball, $50,111
  2. Women’s Basketball, $23,529
  3. Men’s Golf, $15,395
  4. Women’s Softball, $10,413
  5. Men’s Tennis, $8,867

According to the EADA report, total expenses are defined as “all revenues and expenses attributable to intercollegiate athletic activities.” In addition to operating expenses, these include student-athlete aid, promotional activities, recruiting, coaches’ salaries and supplies. The five teams with the most expenses are as follows: 

Top five total expenses

  1. Men’s Basketball, $3,173,839
  2. Women’s Basketball, $2,866,093
  3. Men’s Lacrosse, $1,623,156
  4. Men’s Rowing, $1,393,574
  5. Women’s Field Hockey, $1,349,217

Further breaking down the EADA statement, a little more than a third of the athletics budget is allotted to student aid. Each sport gets a certain number of scholarships that can be distributed among student-athletes. Athletic aid is “any scholarship, grant, or other form of financial assistance . . .  which require the recipient to participate in a program of intercollegiate athletics at the institution.” This means that merit and academic-based aid is not included in this calculation. Aid for athletes can range from a hundred dollars to a full-ride scholarship. They can cover anything related to the student-athlete’s educational experience, including tuition, housing, meal plans and/or books. 

Across all sports, men’s teams received $5,540,765 in aid and women’s teams received $5,789,071, for a total of $11,329,836 of the budget going towards aid. The percent breakdown of the aid is 49% and 51%, respectively. 

A big factor in athletics is recruiting, so much so that it gets its own section in the EADA report. Recruiting expenses “includes, but is not limited to, expenses for lodging, meals, telephone use, and transportation for recruits and personnel engaged in recruiting.” The total for both men’s and women’s teams amounts to $216,167. 

$5,841,815 are categorized as not-allocated expenses. Not-allocated expenses are those that are not associated with a certain team, such as the athletic director, trainers, and athletic staff. It can also include NCAA and CAA dues and other general administration costs. 

The final major expense detailed in the EADA report is coaches’ salaries. Overall, there are 18 head coaches and 33 assistant coaches. Coaches are assigned to the sport on a full-time or part-time basis, as well as being employed by the university full-time or part-time. Not including benefits, the average pay for a head coach on a men’s team is $130,658, and $93,508 for women’s teams. For assistant coaches, the average pay is $60,295 for men’s teams and $56,768 for women’s teams. 

The individual salaries of coaches are not publicized, but Drexel’s 2022 tax filings show that Zach Spiker, head coach of the Men’s Basketball team, is the seventh highest-paid Drexel employee, making $457,857 that year. 

While Drexel University has much it can improve on, one thing it is doing right is ensuring equity in its athletic programs. 

Title IX is a federal law that was passed in 1972 and prohibits sex-based discrimination in education. Regarding athletics, the U.S. Department of Education states that colleges are 

required to “offer equivalent benefits, opportunities, and treatment to its men’s and women’s teams overall.” 

This theoretically means institutions do not have to spend equally on men’s and women’s sports, but it is something Drexel attempts to do. The EADA report shows that Drexel spent $10,873,341 on its men’s team and $10,395,806 on its women’s teams. 

By spending almost equally on both men’s and women’s teams, Drexel is signaling that gender equity in sports matters. This is important because it creates a more level playing field for male and female athletes and ensures that everyone has the opportunity to succeed in sports. 
The full 2022-2023 EADA report can be found on the Drexel Athletics website.