MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- A year after recording perhaps the largest deficit in its history, West Virginia's athletic department is back in the black, at least for the most recent fiscal year.
And it made a far larger profit that anyone expected.
The school finally completed and released its financial report this morning. A year after losing almost $13 million, the athletic department showed a profit of $4.2 million for the fiscal year that ended June 30.
The exact total was $4,205,104. The department's revenue was $77,706,696 during the fiscal year, compared to operating expenses of $73,501,593.
WVU Athletic Director Oliver Luck had said in recent months that he expected the department to break even or show a slight profit. The most generous number he quoted was perhaps $50,000.
The difference came in two areas, but primarily in fundraising. Where the school expected its contributions to be in the $18 million to $19 million range, the final total was almost $24 million.
The school's revenue-sharing check from the Big 12 was also larger than expected -- $10 million instead of $8 million or $9 million.
"Now that our budget numbers are in, I want to say how very pleased and proud I am of our entire athletic department," Luck said. "And I cannot say enough about the job turned in by our Mountaineer Athletic Club staff to reach record-breaking fundraising numbers for the second straight year. I also want to thank the MAC members, who rallied around us and the many fans who purchased tickets to various athletic events. We all know how important it is to have a self-supporting athletic department, and that goal has been reached once again.''
The biggest reason for the huge deficit during the 2011-12 fiscal year was the school's departure from the Big East Conference for the Big 12. In order to escape from its Big East obligations, the school negotiated a buyout of $20 million. And while roughly half of that was either deferred or taken care of in other ways, the school did give up its entire Big East profit-sharing pot of almost $10 million.