With 19 Division III sports teams and another on the way, it is important for Cabrini’s athletes to understand how teams receive and use their money.
Orlin Jespersen, Cabrini’s senior associate director of athletics for operations and external affairs, explained that teams receive their money based on what they need.
As offices at Cabrini receive their money in July of each fiscal year, so do varsity athletic teams. Jespersen said, “Each program has a budget that the coaches work through for their operating expenses, so they have their operating budget. Each of them also has a fundraising budget, so if they do any outside events and activities that can bring in some other funds, then that goes into the fundraising side.”
It is important to note that teams do not receive money based on success. The needs of the program determine the amount of money allocated to each team. Jespersen said he hasn’t seen any inconsistencies with how money is allocated.
Cabrini’s Operating Expenses
The United States Department of Education’s equity in athletics data analysis represents Cabrini’s athletic teams’ operating expenses. Operating expenses fall within the operating budget. They are defined as expenses that go through a business or organization’s normal business operations.
The information in the graphic does not include any funds raised. The statistics are purely based on the operating budget.
There are some apparent inconsistencies across the board, including contrasts between some of the men’s and women’s teams. When looking at the total operating expenses per men’s and women’s teams, the money difference seems extreme. However, while there are differences, the amount is less intense when looking at the operating expense per individual.
An athlete’s perspective
Natalie Bell, captain of the Cabrini women’s tennis team, said, “As a team, we do fundraisers through our team store, and you can do bake sales and work concessions at basketball and soccer games.”
Bell said the team is small, so they receive less funding from donors and alumni donations. “If we have a bigger team one year, then the donations are going to be bigger.”
Bell said, “We do get a stipend every time we travel to an away game for meals. It’s usually around eight or nine dollars.” However, most of the team’s funds go toward buying new tennis balls. The team also purchased new tennis nets and is waiting to buy windscreens.
Different teams fundraise at different levels. This difference plays a large role in the teams’ ability to purchase new equipment and merchandise.
Rylie Butler, senior midfielder, said her team holds many fundraisers throughout the year, “We can do snack bars at our games, and we also may work the Eagles games at the Chickie’s and Pete’s or the Tony Luke’s.” Butler confirmed that fundraising is very important for the women’s soccer team.
Butler said, “We did a big fundraiser where we sent out to everybody, trying to raise money for athletics. I think we raised over $1,000 just for women’s soccer.”
Butler also said one of the most important events that the team fundraises for is an international trip to play soccer and immerse themselves in a different culture. The team aims to go on the trip every four years, so every time it raises more money, the coaches put some aside for the trip.
Butler agreed that fundraising is enjoyable and helps her team bond, and said donors are crucial in the athletic department.
For example, the men’s lacrosse team has more donors than women’s soccer because of its success and the number of returning alumni, an inconsistency that can’t necessarily be controlled by the athletic department.
Not all teams fundraise, and several rely solely on donors and money from Cabrini. Olivia Sims, senior midfielder, said the team does not fundraise.
Recently, the team used its operational budget to purchase new goal cages. However, Sims said she wished that her team fundraised. “If we did fundraise, I think we would be able to have a little extra meal money, because the meal money that we do get is cutting it close sometimes.”
She also said it would be useful, “Maybe for apparel reasons, bumping down the price for some individuals who want to buy apparel but don’t have the funds.”
Team members may set aside meal money to treat themselves to a nicer dinner. Sims said, “There might be some games where we get a dollar shorter than what we usually get, but we can still buy a meal.”
Sims wishes information was more readily available about team budgets and their details. She said, “I definitely think there are differences, but if we all did the same thing with fundraising, then it would be equal.”