Printed on: January 02, 2013

Broncos 4th in football spending


RENO, Nev. -- Nevada and UNLV spent less on their NCAA football programs during 2011-2012 than any other schools in the Mountain West Conference.

San Diego State spent the most on its football program with expenditures of $11.8 million, followed by Hawaii ($10.6), Colorado State ($8.9) and Boise State ($8.5).

Nevada ranked last in spending on both football, at $5 million, and basketball, at about $1.5 million, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported.

The $3.7 million UNLV spent on basketball last season was the third most in the league behind New Mexico's $4.5 million and San Diego State's $4.4 million. UNLV spent slightly less than $7 million on football.

Nevada athletic director Cary Groth, who retires next year, and football coach Chris Ault, who announced his retirement last week, said the university is going to have to step up its commitment to athletics to be able to compete effectively in the conference the Wolf Pack joined this season.

"Our whole department is underfunded," Groth told the Gazette-Journal.

"We have done some things to advance the program, but clearly we need to make a big jump," she said. "We're talking millions. We've increased fundraising. We've increased licensing. We've increased sponsorship. But we need a big jump. And one place it can come from is season tickets. We're not selling the number of season tickets for football that we need to be selling."

Ault said he's confident help is on the way in the form of Marc Johnson, who became UNR's full-time president last April after a yearlong stint in the interim position. Johnson has shown a dedication toward athletics and has made it a priority to have a make-or-break practice facility in place soon.

Ault, Groth and Johnson all said it will take a community effort to properly fund Wolf Pack football, including a "mandatory increase in season-ticket sales.