BY Howie Stalwick 01:23PM 03/15/2016

Cougars’ annual athletics loss: $13.3 milllion

AD Bill Moos cites greater expenses and less than anticipated revenue from Pac-12 Networks for another deficit, although it wasn’t quite as bad as the previous year.

Bill Moos announced another big operating deficit. / WSU Athletics

The Washington State athletics department continues to gush red ink.  The Cougars announced Tuesday a loss of $13,274,324 for fiscal year 2015, which ended June 30. The loss was $440,118 less than the previous year’s record deficit of $13,714,442.

Athletic director Bill Moos, who has said he hoped the Cougars could have positive cash flow by 2019, said Tuesday, “That target has moved a bit.” Citing constantly changing revenues and expenses, Moos declined to predict a new projected year for that.

Moos wrote a letter to WSU fans this week noting that more than $140 million in facility improvements have been made since he was hired in 2010. Most of those costs involved the Martin Stadium football facility and the Football Operations Building, which will take years to pay off.

Moos said revenues have increased $15 million since 2010. However, Pac-12 Conference schools are not receiving the revenue originally anticipated from the Pac-12 Networks, in part due to the failure to partner with DirecTV. Also, tuition increases and additional pay for athlete living expenses have increased scholarship costs.

The Cougars recently announced football staff salary increases totaling in excess of $500,000.

“People are continuing to try to poach our coaches,” said Moos, who specifically mentioned popular defensive line/assistant head coach Joe Salave’a.

Moos said all four football socials held after the most recent recruiting season ended were sold-out events that raised a combined total of more than $500,000.

“This isn’t a lavish program that is throwing money out the window,” Moos said.

Cougar Athletic Fund members have nearly doubled since 2010 to 7,000, including 1,500 new members in the past six months, Moos said. However, the athletic director said WSU’s $54,112,605 in revenues rank last in the Pac-12.

Donations dropped $400,000 to $6,617,601 in the past fiscal year. Moos tied in that drop to reduced donations from fans seeking Apple Cup tickets when the annual football game with Washington was played in Pullman in 2014.

Moos said the athletic department receives “fairly minimal” financial support from the university budget. Moos pointed out that football revenue is relatively limited due to Martin Stadium’s small capacity (32,952) for a Football Bowl Subdivision school.

From Moos’s letter:

Our focus remains the same as was established in 2010: To build a consistently competitive Power Five level athletic program that benefits our university in numerous ways, including increased national exposure, enrollment, donations, and merchandising, to name a few. With your continued help, we can build on the foundation that has been established based on a strategic and purposeful investment in our athletic program.

In related news, Moos said he will activate the rollover clause in the contract of men’s basketball coach Ernie Kent so the pact remains at five years. Kent’s rebuilding project has resulted in a record of 22-40 (8-28 Pac-12) in his first two years.


  • Jamo57

    Does it gush red ink or scarlet ink?

  • 1coolguy

    Moos is Cougin’ it: At least he’s consistent.
    San Diego State? San Jose State? Boise State? UNLV? It appears to be time for the PAC-12 to drop the Cougs and add a school that enhances the conference. Let’s face it, the Cougs will always be the overlooked step-child of the conference.

    • Comrade Suge

      You obviously don’t know much about college sports. I’m sure Cal and UCLA would totally be happy to bring in San Diego St. and San Jose St. I’m sure Stanford who values the academic side of schools would totally be happy to have Boise St. who years ago were a junior college. As for UNLV? I’m sure they would be happy to have a commuter school in the conference. Why not just invite Seattle U while you’re at it.

      Please think before posting.

      • 1coolguy

        Geeez – hate much???
        Let us who are obviously much lesser than yourself, in on what teams YOU would suggest replace WSU, of course, knowing it would never happen.
        Apparently a sports blog can twist a person’s panties – I suggest you cop a doobie before posting going forward and save us all the vitriol.

        • SeaRaays

          Dude ..when you insult someone else’s school and you say hate much? The fact the Cougs had a better Pac 12 record in football last year proves they belong. 15,000 students in Pullman and their small population base is hurting the school. They do not have the Tyee club and the use of public property in the style of UW. If anything UW is underperforming for the cost of their resources and what is available to them. Some years they show financial losses also.
          The big problem is the support of the women sports and the secondary ones costing WSU without any monies coming in. For the amount of men scholarships and sports you must have equal women.

          • 1coolguy

            It is what it is and will not change for many years to come, if ever.
            Huskies always pull for the Cougs, except when we play them. Cougs seem to always pull for every Husky opponent in a beaten step-child way, and it’s too bad.
            If they were in the WAC they would clean up and do very well.

          • Realist

            The WAC discontinued football as a sponsored sport after the 2012–13 season.

            Or maybe that was your point?

          • SeaRaays

            Where you are wrong and act a fool is when you use words like always… then act like a victim.The WAC suggestion for a 4-5 school inPac 12 football could go both ways. Also when was the Huskies in the NCAA men’s basketball March Madness last? The fact the tax payers put so much money into a school of under achievers in this state is remarkable. I like Romar ..I used to talk to him a lot when I was working next door. Rooting for him in the NIT. Yet for their resources they are under achieving. He would admit that also. Let’s hope for Washington residents we see UW win the NIT and Gonzaga go far. For Pac 12 we have to hope for Utah and Oregon. The others fell.

  • Jeff Shope

    need to move to WAC

    • Comrade Suge


      • 1coolguy

        You’re REALLY Cougin’ it……….

    • Realist

      Try the Big Sky.

  • Jeff Shope

    33,000 seat football stadium? That is not D 1 level. LSU holds that in one endzone

    • Comrade Suge

      No, they don’t, I’ve been to Death Valley (it’s where LSU plays).

      • 1coolguy

        You’re Cougin’ it

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    • NixBeeman

      For Thursday night October football games in the middle of nowhwere, that’s about all you need. Thanks, Pac-12 Networks! (If they build a “legit” stadium, they’ll have 80K empty seats instead of 20K and a deficit of about $50 mil per year more.)

  • 1coolguy

    MOOS is learning the reality of being AD without Phil Knight writing checks. It was never about Moos, it was always about Knight.

    • SeaRaays

      You can say that about UW and the Tyee club is their Phil Knght. They have spent 500 million in the last few years on a new stadium and facilities.50 thousand plus students. Notice this is a civil discussion. I get it though haters got to hate. Can’t stand the conservative Cougs making it or showing budget shortfalls. Competing in the Pac 12 sports on a shoestring budget.

      • 1coolguy

        You’re Cougin’ it……………..true to form. Waaaahhhhhhhh