UC Football makes up 41% of $25 million athletic budget - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Students weigh in on the value of football at UC

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CLIFTON, OH (FOX19) -

With the future of Butch Jones' coaching career still not clear, FOX19 is following the money to break down the value of football at the University of Cincinnati.

Digging through the university's budget we found out football makes up 41% of the $25 million athletic budget and gets more money than any other sport, despite the fact that it is expected to cost the university more next year than it will likely bring in.

"With the uncertainty of the Big East and conference realignment it wouldn't be a good time to lose your head football coach," Dinovo argued.

Phil Dinovo is not just senior class president, he also considers himself one of the biggest bearcat fans on campus.

"I'd love to see us continue to compete at the next level," he told FOX19 news. "And right now I think the thing I want to see and most fans want to see is the vision going forward of what that's going to be."

Dinovo argues an investment in Butch Jones is an investment into the university.

"Yeah, there's a lot of money involved but that all transfers over to the entire brand of the University of Cincinnati," he said.

"I think it's crazy to spend that much money to keep someone around," freshman Morgan Voss argued. "I don't know if anyone's worth that."

FOX19 pulled the University of Cincinnati's budget as well as the University of Louisville's budget to compare how the two schools fund their football programs.

Compared to the University of Louisville which beat out UC to gain a spot in the ACC, the University of Cincinnati spends half of what Louisville does on their football budget. UC's athletic budget is nearly a third of Louisville's despite having similar overall budgets and student populations.

"I mean, I think it is essential to have strong programs as a D-I school.

With UC raising tuition this year by the maximum amount allowed by the state which tacked on 365 bucks, some students are questioning a possible pay raise to keep Jones. 

"I don't want to pay more tuition to pay for him to be here. It's not worth it to me," Voss said.

She argues the Bearcat spirit will stay strong with or without the head coach. While that's not what Dinovo wants to see, he says the school has done it before and can do it again.

"I think UC has good leadership in both Santa Ono and Whit Babcock to rebound from that but I know it would make both of their jobs easier and probably save then some sleep if we could retain them," Dinovo recognized.

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