Wednesday, April 1, 2009

HARTFORD, CONN. (AP) - Connecticut’s men’s basketball program showed a profit of just under $6.3 million during the 2008 fiscal year, nearly four times what the school is paying head coach Jim Calhoun.

The program earned $14.07 million in revenue during the year and had $7.8 million in expenses, according to the state Office of Legislative Research. That’s a profit margin of just under 45 percent.

The report was requested in the wake of February’s heated exchange between Calhoun and a political activist over the coach’s $1.6 million salary in tough economic times.

“Quite frankly, we bring in $12 million to the university, nothing to do with state funds,” Calhoun said at the time. “We make $12 million a year for this university.”

If the coach was referring to gross revenue, UConn men’s basketball brings in $2 million more than he estimated.

According to the report, the program took in $7.3 million in direct revenue, the majority of that coming from $4.2 million in ticket sales. It also had $6.7 million in indirect revenue from such things as athletic fundraising and licensing.

The other side of the ledger showed $6 million in direct expenses, including Calhoun’s $1.6 million salary, and $1.5 million in other expenses attributable to the program, such as ticket printing and expenses related to injuries.

Calhoun was traveling with his team Wednesday to Detroit for the Final Four, and could not be reached for comment. UConn spokesman Mike Enright said the school provided the data for the legislative report.

UConn president Michael Hogan said shortly after the salary flap erupted that Calhoun’s salary represented “fair-market value and his teams generate considerable resources for our Division of Athletics.”

Calhoun is Connecticut’s highest-paid state employee, according to the state comptroller. But he’s not the nation’s highest-paid basketball coach.

John Calipari on Tuesday agreed to an eight-year, $31.65 million contract with the University of Kentucky. Coaches at other top basketball programs such as Florida and Kansas also earn considerably more than Calhoun.


Associated Press Writer Stephanie Reitz in Hartford contributed to this report

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