Lickliter names captains, talks about recruiting

May 6, 2009
Iowa guard Devan Bawinkel guards an Indiana player on Jan. 3, 2009 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa guard Devan Bawinkel guards an Indiana player on Jan. 3, 2009 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

MARSHALLTOWN — Iowa’s basketball captains for next year are junior post Jarryd Cole and senior guard Devan Bawinkel, Iowa Coach Todd Lickliter said tonight.

Cole, a 6-foot-7 post, played in all 32 games last year and averaged 3.7 points and 3.0 rebounds a game. Cole joined graduating senior Cyrus Tate as co-captains last year.  Cole started a bit slow coming off knee surgery but started nine games.

Bawinkel , a 6-5 perimeter guard, played his first season at Iowa last year after transferring from Highland (Ill.) Community College. Bawinkel played in every game and started nine. He averaged 4.8 points a game and shot a team-high 139 3-pointers. All but five of his shots were 3-point attempts.

“I think they’re showing terrific leadership,” Iowa Coach Todd Lickliter said Wednesday at the Marshall County I-Club banquet at Elmwood Country Club.

Lickliter said recruiting efforts for the upcoming season are ongoing, and he’s got a recruit coming in this weekend. Lickliter declined to say if this recruit was for 2009 or 2010. Sources close to the program say the player visiting is a transfer from another Division I program who won’t be eligible until the 2010-11 basketball season.

We’re still recruiting,” Lickliter said. “There are some out there. I’m really comfortable with the group we have. Would you like to have a little more depth? Yeah, but I’ve been here two years now, and we haven’t given out 13 scholarships. Yet I’m not that concerned about that.

“We will have a visit this weekend. I don’t know for sure how that will play out.”

Iowa currently has 10 players under scholarship for the upcoming season. Along with Cole and Bawinkel, Iowa returns sophomores Matt Gatens, Andrew Brommer, Aaron Fuller and Anthony Tucker, who likely will regain his eligibility following semester finals. Entering the program this year are incoming freshmen Cully Payne, Eric May and Brennan Cougill, along with junior-college transfer Devon Archie, a junior. Iowa also has red-shirt freshman John Lickliter, the coach’s son.

Four players from last year’s roster — guards Jake Kelly, Jeff Peterson, Jermain Davis and forward David Palmer — left the program.

“Having 11 is probably thin, but it’s very manageable,” Lickliter said. “It’s not important how many (players) you have, but who you have. And I really like who we have, and I like the spots that we have filled. At least now I feel that we have a good grasp of where we’re at and what our needs are and who’s going to be involved. I think you can really paint a much clearer picture for our recruiting efforts.

“We could (add another player). I wouldn’t say it’s pressing or that it’s guaranteed. But we could.”

If Iowa adds a transfer from another school, the player must sit out for a season but likely will be placed under scholarship. Iowa has three scholarships available for this fall and has one commitment for the 2010 season — Sioux Falls (S.D.) prep Cody Larson.

Iowa also has added a walk-on for the upcoming season. Nick Neari, a 6-3 guard from St. Charles (Ill.) North High School, is a close friend of Payne. He averaged 14 points a game in suburban Chicago.

Lickliter said he can’t comment on walk-on players.

“You can say that we’re going to have some (walk-ons), but they have to arrive, enroll and be on the roster. No different than a recruit.”


UNI athletics has used reserves to balance past budgets

May 6, 2009


UNI Offensive Coordinator Rick Nelson celebrates after the team's victory over Maine at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls, Iowa, on Nov. 29, 2008. (Jonathan D. Woods/The Gazette)

UNI Offensive Coordinator Rick Nelson celebrates after the team's victory over Maine at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls, Iowa, on Nov. 29, 2008. (Jonathan D. Woods/The Gazette)


CEDAR FALLS — A $600,000 drop in university funding to the Northern Iowa athletics department led to elimination of the school’s 103-year-old baseball program. But reducing one sport doesn’t absolve UNI athletics from future financial problems, either.

The athletics department has used its financial reserves to cover past shortfalls. According to financial records sent to the NCAA and obtained by The Gazette through the Freedom of Information Act, UNI athletics showed a $251,000 surplus during the 2008 fiscal year, the most recent year with complete data. But it also listed more than $222,000 in revenue taken from endowment and investment income. A private audit of UNI’s athletics department listed $34,545 in expenses over revenue that fiscal year.

“The athletic department has used its reserves to balance its budget, and there are no reserves to be able to do that any longer,” UNI Athletics Director Troy Dannen said. “We have to make sure our budget is balanced just based on what we do.”

During the 2008 fiscal year, UNI’s athletics department listed revenues of nearly $16.6 million, with expenses totaling $16.347 million in the NCAA report. However, institutional support and student fees totaled nearly $6.6 million, or almost 40 percent of its revenue.

“Most schools of our ilk, I-AA schools, still operate at 50 to 60 percent of their athletic department’s operating budget is coming from institutional support,” Dannen said. “That’s student fees plus general fund support.”

During the 2008 fiscal year, football provided the most revenue — and carried the largest financial burden. Football brought in nearly $2.7 million in revenue, but spent more than $3.2 million. Football earned nearly $885,000 in ticket sales and $330,000 in guarantees from a road trip to Iowa State that season. But it also received nearly $400,000 in student fees and more than $727,000 in institutional support.

Men’s basketball was the only moneymaking sport that year, with nearly $325,000 more in revenue than expenses. But it received more than $510,000 in student fees and institutional support.

Dannen is focused with maximizing revenue in football and men’s basketball and said each sport has potential to do so. Dannen cited four primary revenue streams in athletics: corporate gifts, gameday sales, donations and university/state support. Even with the $600,000 hit in university/state support, he said the said the department’s financial outlook is good.

“Football revenue was up $300,000 this year and the crowds were smaller,” Dannen said. “It’s just that elasticity point of where the price is and the crowd. There’s a lot of upside from the football standpoint.

“Basketball, we’re averaging 66 percent of capacity, and we have a good program right now so we have opportunity there. Given the strength of the program — that’s the blessing in all of this — that while we’re losing on one end of things (direct university support), the department’s uniquely in position to have strong revenue-generating football and basketball (programs).”

Streamlining costs also will help UNI’s financial profile. UNI receives $400,000 to play at Iowa this fall and will pay for only a bus trip. The school received a similar guarantee last year to play at Brigham Young, but spent much of that revenue in travel costs.

As for the other sports, such as wrestling, women’s basketball and volleyball, Dannen said there is revenue potential.

“Even if we look at our wrestling revenue numbers, even if you double those, it’s not going to off-set, significantly off-set the expenses,” Dannen said. “I’m looking at revenue potential in football and men’s basketball. There’s greater revenue potential in women’s basketball and volleyball right now. ”