BY WATCHING ADAMS STAFF – 2/27/17
According to travel request documents obtained by Watching Adams, Adams State University (ASU) spent $58,581 on five away games for the ASU football team and an additional $9,320 on travel recruiting costs for ASU football, totaling $67,901 in 2016. The individual breakdown in cost for these games were:
$19,017 for travel to Rapid City, SD to face South Dakota School of Mines & Tech (ASU lost 35-62)
$6,414 for travel to Gunnison, CO to face Western State Colorado University (ASU lost 25-56)
$12,328 for travel to Grand Junction, CO to face Colorado Mesa University (ASU lost 42-63)
$10,364 for travel to Golden, CO to face Colorado School of Mines (ASU lost 7-42)
$10,458 for travel to Las Vegas, NM to face New Mexico Highlands University (ASU won 50-40)
In total, the ASU football team won two games and lost eight for the 2016 season (a 20% win record), according to the ASU Grizzlies website.
The last year in which ASU won more football games than it lost was 2013; ASU also won more games than lost in 2012 and 2011. In most previous years, ASU approximately “broke even” in terms of wins/losses. With the exception of an 8-3 record in 2012, ASU has never won more than 65% of its games dating back to 2005.
One former ASU employee asked, “what performance indicators are being applied to the ASU athletics program? If they consistently lose 60-80% of their football games every year and yet their program costs are significant and strain university resources, who is accountable for an under-performing team? Taxpayers want to know.”
As previously reported in ASU Football Spent nearly $72,000 on Travel in Fall 2015, many faculty and staff at ASU have called into question the considerable cost of maintaining an ASU football program at Adams State, particularly in a time of ongoing financial hardship.
According to February 21st, 2017 testimony in the Colorado General Assembly, 42% of ASU’s students are athletes, versus just 18% of the university’s NCAA peers.
A 2016 Watching Adams poll asked, “Does ASU place too much priority on athletics over academics?” Of more than 100 votes cast as of publication, 73% answered “Yes, definitely” and 14% answered “Yes, sometimes.” Just over 12% stated “no” to this question.
One faculty member interviewed for the 2015 report concluded by stating, “If ASU is to survive, we need to start making fiscally responsible decision based on the circumstances particular to our institution. We can no longer follow the lead of outside institutions and assume that what others are doing is going to work for us… What we need are innovative leaders willing to adapt to ASU’s unique conditions.”
For more on ASU’s financial constraints, see ASU Audit: Reduce Deficit Spending, Cut Costs, Increase Revenue.