Which Nevada team spent the most last year? How does UNLV compare?

Doug Knuth
Nevada AD Doug Knuth. (John Byrne/Nevada athletics)

The Nevada and UNLV athletic departments recently submitted their 2018 fiscal year review to the Nevada Board of Regents (here is the Wolf Pack's full filing). These reports always provide a treasure trove of interesting information. I culled through them for you to find the most interesting stuff. Typically when I do this I also include how much each Wolf Pack program made or lost in the last fiscal year, but that information was not included in this year's filing, so that won't be in here. Enjoy the numbers.

Budgets by sport

Here is how much Nevada spent on each of its programs in the latest fiscal year. I added UNLV's budget in each sport in parenthesis for comparison purposes. I was surprised to see Nevada had a higher budget than UNLV in nine of the 13 sports both teams sponsors, the exceptions being men's basketball, men's and women's golf and women's swimming and diving.

Football – $10,037,079 (UNLV spent $9,982,684)

Men's basketball – $4,746,053 (UNLV spent $5,763,010)

Women's basketball – $1,945,748 (UNLV spent $1,593,982)

Baseball – $1,591,251 (UNLV spent $1,315,263)

Women's track and field/cross country – $1,452,114 (UNLV spent $1,184,408)

Women's swimming and diving – $1,084,718 (UNLV spent $1,197,676)

Softball – $1,062,619 (UNLV spent $973,959)

Volleyball – $1,031,214 (UNLV spent $1,014,489)

Soccer – $940,959 (UNLV spent $822,904)

Women's tennis – $557,731 (UNLV spent $550,441)

Men's tennis – $434,510 (UNLV spent $409,915)

Women's golf – $455,277 (UNLV spent $645,052)

Men's golf – $418,505 (UNLV spent $1,258,626 - not a typo)

Rifle – $244,060 (UNLV does not sponsor)

Total budgets – $26,001,838 (UNLV spent $27,460,517)

Of note: In the last two years, Nevada football's budget has increased by 15.1 percent (a $1.319 million improvement) and men's basketball's budget has increased by 63.7 percent (a $1.847 million improvement). Most of Nevada's programs saw a rise of a couple hundred thousand dollars over the last two years. The only budget that did not go up over the last two years was rifle, which was cut over the weekend.

GPAs by Sport

Here is the Wolf Pack's cumulative GPAs by sport last year, which are also split for the fall and spring semesters in parenthesis.

3.526 – Swimming and diving (3.506 fall/3.546 spring)

3.421 – Women's golf (3.357/3.484)

3.412 – Cross country/track (3.360/3.463)

3.364 – Women's tennis (3.261/3.466)

3.343 – Women's basketball (3.442/3.243)

3.290 – Men's tennis (3.258/3.321)

3.277 – Rifle (3.223/3.330)

3.101 – Women's soccer (3.129/3.072)

3.041 – Softball (3.072/3.009)

3.002 – Volleyball (2.886/3.118)

2.804 – Football (2.833/2.775)

2.788 – Baseball (3.092/2.483)

2.690 – Men's golf (2.689/2.690)

2.268 – Men's basketball (2.382/2.154)

Capital Improvements in FY 2018

Here is a list of the Wolf Pack's capital improvements last year. The department spent $3.976 million on improvements, mostly on the Ramon Sessions Performance Center.

$3,000,000 – Basketball Practice Facility & All Sports Weight room

$560,000 – Baseball Turf Replacement

$150,000 – Men's and Women's Basketball Court

$125,000 – Football Team Room Update

$75,000 – Men's and Women's Golf Practice Facility

$25,000 – Softball Stadium Netting

$25,000 – Volleyball Court

$15,600 – Sports Medicine Training Room Floor

Declared majors

The Wolf Pack released the majors of all of its student-athletes. Kinesiology was not only Nevada's top major but also UNLV's top area of study with a nice total of 69 student-athletes majoring in it. Here are the Wolf Pack majors by study:

Kinesiology, 40

Public Health, 32

Human Development and Family Studies, 30

General Business, 23

Criminal Justice, 21

Psychology, 20

Biology, 18

Management, 17

Marketing, 17

Health/Education, 13

Finance, 12

General Studies, 12

Communication Studies, 12

Civil Engineering, 10

Business & Communications, 9

Nutrition, 8

Neuroscience, 6

Mechanical Engineering, 5

Chemistry, 4

Journalism, 4

Sociology, 4

Justice Management - Master's Program, 4

Accounting, 3

Pre-Ele Ed: Special Ed, 3

Biochem and Molecular Biology, 3

Economics, 3

English Writing, 3

International Business, 3

English Literature, 2

Agricultural Science, 2

Anthropology, 2


Undeclared, 2

Business Administration MBA, 2

Computer Science and Engineering, 2

Higher Education Admin MA, 2

Information Systems, 2

Veterinary Science, 2

Physics, 2

Political Science, 2

Pre-Ele Ed: Early Childhood, 2

Biomedical Engineering, 1

Engineering Physics, 1

Environmental Science, 1

History, 1

International Affairs, 1

Nevada Teach Agri Sci, 1

Nevada Teach Env Sci, 1

Speech Pathology, 1

Wildlife Ecol Conservation, 1


Here is the debt the Wolf Pack has accrued, per the filing. It's a lot of debt, divided into two tiers. Note: I don't know what much of this means other than Nevada owes a lot of money to somebody.

Recent Debt (post FY 13) totals ~$3.9 million (FY 18 end of year)

To be paid back on an annual basis, at the close of each fiscal year

* 50% operating surplus to debt service

* 50% operating surplus to create departmental reserve account

* Note this amount also includes $1.93 million in deferred FY18 revenue – due to higher than expected advance ticket revenues

Historic Debt (FY 13 and before) ~$8.25 million

* This historic debt has carried forward for several years

* Includes the impact of switching from accrual to cash accounting ($4.25 million)

* Nevada will service this debt centrally as a loan with one-time sources that come available over the next several fiscal years

Contract arrangements

The Nevada Board of Regents got out of the "approving coaches contracts" game after the Chris Beard debacle, but it must be briefed on contracts in excess of $200,000 annually. The Wolf Pack has six coaches who fit that mold, including men's basketball coach Eric Musselman ($1,000,000 per year), football coach Jay Norvell ($500,000), athletic director Doug Knuth ($400,000), football defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel ($238,702), football offensive coordinator Matt Mumme ($203,322) and women's basketball coach Amanda Levens ($200,000-$230,000). The contracts of Norvell, Casteel, Mumme and Levens are covered entirely by "intercollegiate athletic sources." That's not the case with Musselman and Knuth, so Nevada had to break down their contracts in more detailed terms. They did so here. It reads:

For Musselman

The source of funds originally identified in the disclosure certification for the above athletic contract were satisfied by the following manner:

"Salary is covered by $650,000 from intercollegiate athletic sources and $350,000 from donor funds. ICA men's basketball ticket revenue funds at the time the contract was signed were $1,431,000. In the first year of the contract, ICA men's basketball ticket revenue increased to $1,801,981. In the second year of the contract, we anticipate ICA men's basketball ticket revenue will increase to almost $2,000,000 and fully support the increased salary. We are up to date on all but one donor pledge and actively pursuing timely receipt."

(Of note: The pledged donations are legally enforceable signed agreements with donors held by the UNR Foundation. )

For Knuth

The source of funds originally identified in the disclosure certification for the above athletic contract were satisfied by the following manner:

"Salary is covered by $350,000 from intercollegiate athletic sources and $50,000 from donor funds. We are up to date on all pledges and cash."

(So, basically, donors are paying $400,000 a year to keep Musselman and Knuth on campus.)

NCAA violations

Nevada also had to write out all of its self-reported NCAA violations. Most of them are minor. Some of them are hilarious. For example, "Father of signed PSA went into the team weight room and lifted weights." NCAA cracking down on lifting weights! Anyway, the full list of violations start on page 60 here if you want to read them.

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