BATON ROUGE - A ground-breaking policy that ensures the academic mission of LSU will share in the financial success of the LSU athletics program was unanimously approved Friday by the LSU Board of Supervisors.
Called "historic" by some members of the LSU Board on Friday, the LSU Athletics Fund Transfer Policy formalizes an annual transfer of $7.2 million from the Athletic Department to other components of LSU for use in supporting LSU's academic, research, public service and other missions. In addition, it establishes a revenue sharing component that could provide additional funds to the university's mission and ensure that all facets of LSU share in the success of the athletics program.
Over the years, various informal practices have been adopted for the transfer of funds from the Athletic Department to other components of LSU. As LSU has faced increasing budget pressures over recent years, fund transfers from Athletics to other components of LSU have increased. Most recently, the Athletic Department transferred an additional $4 million and assumed financial responsibility for the Academic Center for Student-Athletes at the cost of approximately $1.5 million to help offset a shortage in the university budget, staving off budget cuts and potential faculty and staff layoffs.
Over the initial five-year term of the policy, LSU Athletics will provide $36 million to other parts of LSU. In addition, in years in which the athletics program generates a surplus, a portion of the surplus will be transferred to other components of LSU, with the remainder of the surplus being used to fund reserve accounts to protect against future financial uncertainties and provide a funding source for long-deferred maintenance projects for athletics facilities.
The first $3 million of any surplus will be devoted strictly to athletics reserve accounts. Of any surplus between $3 million and $5 million, 75 percent will be devoted to athletics reserve accounts and the remaining 25 percent will be transferred to other parts of LSU. Any surplus above $5 million will be split equally between athletics and the rest of the university.
The proposed policy does not affect the current sharing of LSU trademark licensing revenue, which will continue to be split equally between athletics and the rest of the university, nor does it affect the payment of tuition by the Athletic Department for scholarship student-athletes, nor payments by the Athletic Department for utilities and similar direct services provided by other components of LSU to the Athletic Department.