Athletic department gets award for best economic efficiency

Kyle Reynolds

Kent State was named national champion —but not for its football, softball or basketball teams.

Kent State won the Excellence in Management Cup given annually by Texas A&M’s Laboratory for the Study of Intercollegiate Athletics to the school in the Football Bowl Subdivision whose athletic department is the most economically efficient.

The goal of the Excellence in Management Cup to discover which athletic departments are winning the most conference and national championships and spending the least to do it, said Shane Hudson, lab director of the Texas A&M’s LSIA.

Researchers have a formula that takes into account national championships, regular season conference and tournament championships, number of sports offered and the total operating budget of the athletic department.

This is the second year the cup has been awarded. Last year, Kent State was runner-up to Utah State University.

Having a smaller operating budget than a lot of BCS conference schools has not hindered the success of the athletic department at Kent State, and this award affirms that, Director of Athletic Communication Alan Ashby said.

In the 2009-10 academic year, the Golden Flashes won 11 MAC Championship titles, including regular season and tournament titles.

Having a smaller budget means the athletic department needs to seek creative ways to be successful, said Dell Billings, Texas A&M Communications Specialist.

“Smaller schools don’t have the same amount of large donors as the larger schools, so you need to think of more innovative ways to do things,” Billings said.

Kent State’s score was nearly double what runner-up Western Kentucky University’s score was.

Kent State is one of three schools from the MAC conference placing in the top 25, along with Central Michigan University ranking fourth and Ohio University ranking 11th.

Out of the top 10 schools in this year’s standings, only one is from a BCS conference. So, smaller schools with multiple conference championships fare very well in the Cup, said Kayla Jones, graduate assistant in Texas A&M’s LSIA program.

“The smaller schools that dominate their conferences, like Kent in the MAC and Western Kentucky in the Sun Belt, do very well in this,” Jones said. “The bigger schools with bigger budgets usually need national championships to have better results.”

Contact general assignment

reporter Kyle Reynolds at

[email protected].