Students

In Mighty U. of Texas Athletics Program, 'We Eat What We Kill'

October 01, 2007

Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the University of Texas athletics program, whose budget will exceed $100-million this year — more than twice what it was six years ago.

In a three-part series examining the financial clout and spending practices of Longhorn athletics, the Austin American-Statesman lifts the veil on one of the country’s highest-profile athletics departments.

The newspaper found, among other things, that:

Sports expenses at Texas have grown twice as fast as the university’s overall spending in the past six years.

The amount of money the university spends per athlete has soared, from $113,000 in 2003 to $210,000 this year. That’s 10 times the average of all Division I and II colleges, and eight times what Texas spends educating each student. (Texas officials said the importance of those numbers is exaggerated because its program is self-supporting. “We eat what we kill,” the department’s chief financial officer said.)

Since winning the national title, in 2005, the football program has spent more than $200,000 renovating its players’ lounge and $155,000 purchasing a hydrotherapy room to help soothe its players’ sore legs.

The rehab pool probably came in handy after Saturday’s 41-21 loss to Kansas State University, which dashed the Longhorns’ hopes at a national title. —Brad Wolverton