WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - While our final Directors’ Cup position may not reflect it, there were plenty of success stories throughout the 2014-15 school year.
First and foremost, it was great to see men’s basketball return to the NCAA Tournament with a young and exciting team that is poised for greater triumphs. Five other programs had positive postseason performances: women’s golf, men’s swimming & diving, women’s swimming & diving, men’s track & field, and women’s track & field. Women’s tennis has established itself as a consistent NCAA Tournament team (earning its fourth straight berth) and volleyball just missed earning its 10th NCAA berth in the last 11 years.
We saw some amazing performances by underclassmen, including freshman diver Steele Johnson, who won two national championships, and sophomore sprinter/hurdler Devynne Charlton, who earned All-America honors in three events. It’s not surprising that those two youngsters were recognized as our Athletes of the Year.
However, we also must acknowledge that football, while improving from one win to three, needs to make a major step this fall. We are confident that the work being put in by the current players and an improved recruiting pipeline will result in more victories. Football needs to win to boost department, campus and alumni morale as well as to increase revenue.
We anticipate continued improvement by men’s golf, softball and wrestling and bounce backs from sub-par performances by baseball, women’s basketball, soccer and men’s tennis.
Our goal remains to achieve high-level performance from all 20 of our teams and climb in the Directors’ Cup standings. The key is consistency, something we have lacked in recent years. Yet we truly believe that the coaching and support staffs – with their passion and work ethic – are in place to bring better showings across the board. Among the incoming freshmen for 2015-16 are 11 high school All-Americans and seven individuals who were named the top player in their state as seniors.
As part of Plan 2020, which was announced in January of 2015 as an epilogue to our strategic plan that covered the six-year time frame from 2008 and 2014, we will provide annual updates. The following is a recap of 2014-15.
We accumulated 405 points in the Directors’ Cup and ranked 60th out of 351 schools, which placed us in the 83rd percentile. When tallying only those sports that we offer, our ranking moved up 12 spots to 48th. Last year, we finished 48th with 466.5 points, with an adjusted ranking of 40th when counting only our sports.
We know that with only 20 sports, virtually all of them must score points (by advancing to postseason play). Combining each of our sports’ best finishes from the last six years would yield us 841.5 points and move us up to 20th in the overall rankings and 14th in the adjusted rankings.
In 2014-15, 12 teams earned NCAA postseason opportunities, matching our average over the last five years, while nine squads had upper-half Big Ten Conference finishes, in line with our five-year average. Three programs finished in the top 25 nationally – women’s golf (12th), men’s swimming & diving (17th), and women’s outdoor track & field (20th) – while volleyball was 28th, women’s swimming & diving was 30th, men’s indoor track & field was 31st, wrestling was 42nd and men’s outdoor track & field was 44th. Men’s basketball returned to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012, and women’s tennis earned its fourth consecutive NCAA berth.
We accumulated 30 total All-America honors (by 21 student-athletes). Twelve Boilermakers earned first team distinction – twice as many as last year – including Steele Johnson, a two-time NCAA champion in 1-meter and platform diving who was named National Diver of the Year. We had 12 first team All-Big Ten selections. A year ago, Purdue had 32 All-America honors (by 22 student-athletes), including six first teamers, and 13 first team All-Big Ten selections.
We had five individual Big Ten champions: Symone Black (400-meter hurdles – outdoor track & field), Devynne Charlton (100-meter dash – outdoor track & field), Lyam Dias (200 breaststroke – swimming & diving), Chukwuebuka Enekwechi (hammer throw – outdoor track & field) and Matthew McClintock (5,000 meters – outdoor track & field), plus the women’s outdoor track & field 4x100-meter relay of Savannah Carson, Carmiesha Cox, Charlton and Brionna Thomas. Enekwechi was named the Big Ten Field Athlete of the Indoor Championships and Field Athlete of the Year, while Johnson was Big Ten Diver of the Year, Rapheal Davis was Big Ten Men’s Basketball Defensive Player of the Year and Symone Black was Big Ten Women’s Indoor Track & Field Freshman of the Year.
We won the Governor’s Cup – our all-sports competition with Indiana – for the second straight year, scoring seven of the last eight and a half points for a 10-9 victory.
Student-Athlete Development and Welfare
Student-athletes maintained better than a 3.0 grade-point average for the 13th consecutive semester this spring – achieving a record 3.09 – and they continue to regularly perform equal to or better than the student body. Following the spring semester, the cumulative GPA for all current Purdue student-athletes was a record 3.08. The current four-year average Graduation Success Rate stands at 84 percent, as we work toward our goal of 85 percent. This GSR metric, which factors in transfer activity, is not available for internal comparisons, but our federal rate of 72 percent is 2 percent better than the student body. Overall, 90 percent of student-athletes completing their eligibility at Purdue graduate, and student-athletes who graduated in May of 2014 realized a 95 percent job-placement rate.
Diver Jamie Bisett earned first team Academic All-America honors and became merely the 10th Boilermaker to earn first team All-America honors both academically and athletically in the same year. Cross country/track & field runner Matthew McClintock was a third team Academic All-American. A total of 208 Boilermakers garnered Academic All-Big Ten distinction, up significantly from 186 a year ago.
The John R. Wooden Leadership Institute contains a leadership curriculum designed to accelerate leadership development for our student-athletes. Resources include the legendary Pyramid of Success, the teachings of Coach Wooden and books written by him. The curriculum includes a public service component during each year of enrollment.
The current components include:
* Monthly meetings of the Boilermaker Athletic Council
* Monthly meetings of the Emerging Leaders
* Fall and Spring EDPS courses for freshman student-athletes
* Transition programs for exhausted eligibility student-athletes
* Community service projects
* D.I.S.C. behavioral assessment
* Pyramid of Success speakers
* Career development programs partnering with CCO and Roger Stewart
During 2014-15, the following speakers presented a Pyramid of Success session to our student- athletes:
* Kevin DeShazo – Fieldhouse Media: INTENTNESS
* Dr. Michael Grandner – “The Sleep Doctor”: ALERTNESS
* Dr. Kacey Oiness – Purdue Sports Psychologist (pressure, fear, anxiety and stress): SKILL
* Emily Fogle – Purdue Student-Athlete (mental health journey): CONDITION
Also, the following activities that support the leadership goal were completed:
* Purdue Athletics partnered with the campus LBGTQ Center, Purdue 360, Black Cultural Center, Purdue Student Government, NCAA, Pride and GO Athletics for “Championing Equality” event open to the campus and community
* The Boilermaker Athletic Council officially merged with the NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) and created its own constitution and executive council.
* The Boilermaker Athletic Council and Emerging Leaders partnered with Purdue Sports Nutrition and created a garden where they planted, weeded, tended and grew vegetables for themselves and to give to low-income families while learning about sustainable food and budgeting.
As to the benchmarks in this area:
One hundred percent of our student-athletes participated in a leadership activity this year with the addition of synching Boilers Back in Action and The John Wooden Pyramid of Success Speaker Series.
* Boilers Back in Action: 551
* Pyramid of Success Series: 226
* EDPS: 93
* Emerging Leaders: 77
* Boilermaker Athletic Council: 68
* IMPACT (influencing/mentoring by Purdue athletes with the Cardinal tradition): 16
NCAA changes led to concussion overview and uniformity. Our policy was reviewed, edited and submitted for compliance check by the NCAA and was approved. Purdue’s concussion protocol has been approved and is compliant with the new regulations.
The Mollenkopf Athletic Center and Mackey Arena fueling stations have evolved from areas that were used occasionally for team practices, or never, to high-traffic areas that are utilized by hundreds of student-athletes daily. Furthermore, they have evolved to provide pre- and post-workout options for a wide array of needs, including gluten free, lactose intolerance, nut allergies, etc. In addition, the fueling stations provide an area where student-athletes can learn about the food going into their bodies, get recipes and nutrition information, as well as receive nutrition-related announcements. The fueling stations have gone from being funded by incremental dollars in the sports medicine budget to a fully funded $240,000 operation.
In January of 2015, the NCAA passed new legislation allowing institutions the option of providing scholarship student-athletes up to the full cost of attendance. Previously, institutions could only provide a full grant-in-aid (tuition, fees room and board, and books). Beginning with the 2015-16 academic year, we may provide up to the full cost of attendance (tuition, fees, room and board, books, supplies, transportation, and miscellaneous expenses) as determined by the Division of Financial Aid. Purdue Athletics will provide cost of attendance to eligible student-athletes. We have been working on educational materials to inform our returning and incoming and student-athletes as well as their parents of this coming change. The estimated cost is about $1 million annually.
Intercollegiate Athletics is a self-supporting auxiliary enterprise. As of March 31, we are forecasting net operating income of $8.4 million for the fiscal year ending June 30, on revenue of $72.8 million. This amount, along with $800,000 of reserves, will satisfy the Ross-Ade and Mackey Complex debt payment of $9.2 million. Our reserves are in line with our forecasts, and we will have transferred about $4.7 million of our $12 million commitment to the Krach Leadership Center from our reserves, as well. This obligation will be retired by June of 2020.
Final year-end numbers will be available in early August.
The Boilermaker Softball Stadium – adjacent to baseball, soccer and tennis on the northwest edge of campus – opened in April of 2015 and completed a 20-year journey where we now have contemporary facilities for all our programs that will enable our student-athletes and coaches to compete for championships on a consistent basis.
A major renovation to the Ackerman Hills Golf Course began in October of 2014 and will be completed by the spring of 2016. Spearheaded by world-renowned golf course architect Pete Dye, who is donating his services, the renovation is designed to make the course enjoyable for all to play and suitable to host championship-caliber events. Upon reopening, the course will be included on the Pete Dye Trail, which presently consists of seven unique and challenging golf courses throughout Indiana, including the Kampen Course.
The South End Zone Patio in Ross-Ade Stadium opened last fall after we demolished the upper bleachers. In addition to avoiding necessary maintenance, we believed a temporary repurposing of the area with a new look and feel would serve our fans well as we continue to study a major renovation to the space.
We announced a Football Master Plan consisting of five points – roster development, recruiting, fan engagement, university support and facilities – that must be executed to ensure success of our Plan 2020. Two market surveys and a design competition among six firms have us moving in the right direction. Our first step will be to improve the team/training space in the Mollenkopf Athletics Center, followed by the audio/visual enhancements to Ross-Ade and then the South End Zone. We aim to share a comprehensive plan in December that will help determine the cost and timetable for the projects. All projects will be paid for by external support and internally generated funds. No student fees or state support will be utilized.
John Purdue Club
Overall, John Purdue Club net production as of June 1, 2015, is nearly $15M. This sum is slightly higher than the three-year average. A total of $6 million in major and deferred gifts was secured, including an additional $2-plus million in contributions to our endowment, growing our endowment to $42 million. The interest generated allowed an additional $2 million to be used to meet our athletic scholarship commitment.
Purdue Athletics’ participation in the university-wide “Purdue Day of Giving” was a great success. More than $837,000 was contributed by 862 donors.
Membership continues to be a challenge as members at the lower giving levels believe there is a direct, positive correlation to their giving and our teams’ successes. As of June 1, the John Purdue Club membership was 7,856, down 6.6 percent from the 8,412 total of 2014. Of the 556 members who chose not to continue their support of our student-athletes, 473 were lost from the First Team level ($200/annually), nearly 12 percent of the 4,454 members. We continue to examine programming, messaging and the experiences of the First Team members in an attempt to reverse their decision to move to inactive status.
As we continue to segment the entire membership, there is positive news with respect to our Varsity “P” Club and Young Professionals subsets. The Varsity “P” Club has reached 1,070 members, 70 more than last year. Nearly 14 percent of our current John Purdue Club membership is former student-athletes. The fastest growing group within the John Purdue Club is the Young Professionals. This group has reached 577 members in just one year. Connecting with both the senior class members and recent graduates and offering events specific to their interests has proven to be most beneficial.
In summary, while there were many positives with the John Purdue Club this year, the membership issue has caused us to fall short in meeting the $11 million annual scholarship cost.
10-Year Financial Plan Highlights
Since 2011, we have annually updated our 10-year financial master plan. That work was completed in November of 2014. The update included:
* A review of all assumptions
* Decrease in ticket sales for the past few years, which is a trend noted nationally due to many factors, the greatest being accessibility to all games via Internet or television
* John Purdue Club donations are trending downward, which is causing us to fund some of our scholarships through operating reserves
* Big Ten revenue projections
* Changes in revenue and expense categories beginning in the fall of 2016 due to the change in football scheduling from eight Big Ten games to nine Big Ten games. Guarantees will be reduced, while gate sharing received and gate sharing paid will fluctuate depending on whether we have a fifth Big Ten game at home or on the road
* Due to good management by the university, our fringe benefits expense will not increase at the rate previously budgeted
* The student affordability initiative on campus has allowed us to slow down the rate of growth in tuition, fees, and room and board costs for student-athletes
* Student-athlete medical expenses have increased due to higher medical costs and the new fueling stations/nutritional supplements to enhance the student-athletes’ overall health and performance
* The O’Bannon case and Judge Wilken’s judgment to provide each Football Bowl Subdivision player and each Division I men’s basketball player with up to $5,000 per year for each student-athlete enrolled in college on or after July 1, 2015, could have an impact on our bottom line if upheld on appeal (still pending): we currently have $125,000 (25 players) in the budget for this purpose beginning in 2016-17
* Ackerman Hills Golf Course major maintenance is scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2016
* Softball Stadium construction was completed in March of 2015
* An estimate on the Football Master Plan project is in the plan; projected costs are just a placeholder at this time
The projections show us continuing to deplete reserves through June of 2017, and then we begin to restore reserves dependent upon aforementioned television negotiations, football revenue and the Football Master Plan.
Looking to the future, there are several variables to monitor:
* Football revenue has the potential to increase, but we will need to watch it carefully.
* Student attendance needs to be watched.
* ABC/ESPN negotiations will commence soon. The current agreement expires at the end of 2016-17.
* We will continue to work on the Football Master Plan and will have a detailed plan by December 31, 2015.
* The cost of attendance passed by the NCAA membership will cost us about $1 million recurring.
* We have aggressively revamped football prices to stimulate attendance for the students and general public.
* Legislation, NCAA rulings and NCAA governance regarding college athletics must be watched in the coming years – this includes the O’Bannon case, Northwestern’s student-athlete possible unionization, concussion settlements, Kessler vs the NCAA, etc.
* If revenues allow, we will assess sport sponsorship in the future with a desire to add a men’s and women’s sport, but only after reserve level targets are met and we demonstrate sufficient recurring revenue to support such an action.
* Recommended and implemented a new pricing structure for football, resulting in the lowering of prices in nearly 90 percent of Ross-Ade Stadium. Plan was developed after looking at myriad of factors affecting attendance, including economy and growth of television and social media.
* Conducted a student focus group to address student attendance. Group consisted of 10 students from various student groups and organizations. The group recommended the new Boarding Pass that replaces the former VIP program. The Boarding Pass provides access to football, men’s and women’s basketball, and volleyball for only $99. In addition, beginning in 2015-16 all other sports will have free admittance for students.
* Reached our three-year goal to have 1,000 members in our Boilermaker Kids Club. The goal was established when we had merely 60 kids in the club, and we ended last year at just under 1,300.
* Worked with communications staff to develop a branding initiative within our facilities. We prioritized a list of all logo usage within our buildings and made a plan to update over the course of the next several years.
Equity and Integrity
During 2014-15, 499 students participated in intercollegiate athletics. The equity rate stood at 54.2 percent for men (in 10 sports) and 45.8 percent for women (in 10 sports), which is in line with the university undergraduate gender distribution of 57.4 percent men and 42.6 percent women. Athletic-related aid closely approximates the university’s undergraduate student gender distribution.
Exit interview data, senior leadership observations of equity practices and the Big Ten advisory commission annual survey surfaced no systemic gender equity issues or minority issues.
We provide developmental opportunities to our administrative and coaching staffs annually:
* Staff Development Day included remarks from the newly appointed executive vice president for academic affairs and provost, Debasish Dutta, and the treasurer and chief financial officer, William Sullivan. In addition, vice president for information technology and system CIO Gerry McCartney discussed self-service video facilities, and Morgan Burke provided a final update for Plan 2020. The remainder of the day was spent in an overview of the risk management mitigation training, conducted by Trent Klingerman.
* Coaches Development Day included presentations from Shon Morris, former senior associate athletics director for development at Northwestern; Jon Barrett, legal counsel for the Big Ten; and Ryan Grigson, general manager of the Indianapolis Colts and former Purdue student-athlete. The balance of the day was spent in breakout sessions focusing on the recruiting process.
Additional developmental sessions are held periodically throughout the year for specific groups as topics arise.
All Athletics Department employees have achieved the following certification:
* Equal Opportunity Module
* Americans with Disabilities Act Module
* Wage and Hour Issues for Employees and Supervisors Module
* Family and Medical Leave Act and University Leaves Module
* Title IX – Mandatory Reporter Certification
The Quality of Life team coordinated a community service initiative on Martin Luther King Day for Athletics staff members and worked with Habitat for Humanity on a house in the community.
We continue to utilize all social media platforms. Significant growth continued in 2014-15:
* Instagram saw an 86.7 percent increase in followers from last year, followed by Twitter (28 percent), YouTube (19.4 percent increase in views and 17.6 percent increase in subscribers), and Facebook (5.9 percent).
* Between August of 2014 and May of 2015, we created 770 videos that generated 7,119,588 views on our various platforms (Twitter via SnappyTV and Facebook). That’s an average of 18-plus videos and 169,000 views per week.
* Our monthly average number of web site unique visitors is just over 199,000, an increase of 16.4 percent from last year.
We continue to assess and adjust, but are confident we can get our message out to a broad audience in summary or in detail. A third-party evaluation by Fieldhouse Media led to the creation of a department policy about how we are pushing out content on each platform (including consistency and branding) and how we respond to our fan base from a customer-service standpoint.
In 1992, the Board of Trustees declared, “Purdue University is committed to creating a nationally recognized athletics program that is excellent in all respects and that such a commitment is consistent with the University’s academic mission and reputation.”
We are committed to our strategic plan, knowing full well that only 10 schools in 2013-14 achieved the “25/85” designation: Stanford, UCLA, Notre Dame, Michigan, Penn State, Duke, North Carolina, Ohio State, Virginia and Minnesota. Over the last five years, we have ranked between the 82nd and 86th percentile among all 351 Division I programs when combining both metrics (estimate 84th in 2014-15) and, within the peer group (same 16 schools as the university’s), we have been between 10th and 15th during the same period. The entire peer group is in the top quartile of the 351 Division I programs. We believe the pipeline will produce enhanced performance next year and beyond. We believe 16 of our 20 sports can reach the NCAA postseason each year and, if eight reach top-16 status and the other eight make the top 30 to 40, we can hit the top 25 even with our current compliment of sports. All 16 schools in our peer group are at the 85th percentile or higher on the athletic component, so it’s the right group to compete against. We also are committed to maintaining a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average and, over the next year, expect the GSR to remain at 84 percent. Combining each of our sport’s best finishes from the last six years would have put us 20th (out of 351) overall or about the 90th percentile.
To achieve the vision of Plan 2020 and to remain self-sufficient will require a continued commitment to allow Intercollegiate Athletics to keep sufficient NCAA and Big Ten distributions revenue to compete with its peers. The NCAA Dashboard Indicators show we are in the bottom quartile of total revenue and expenses against our peer group even if you adjust for sport sponsorship. The key is to ensure that we have adequate resources, sound plans and capable personnel. If we stay focused, we can succeed, but it will require commitment at all levels. We have to believe this effort is an integral piece of building Purdue’s reputation as well as producing 21st century leaders.