Of the $22 million the university allocated to athletics in 2019, about $15 million was spent on the six men’s sports teams, while about $7 million was spent on the nine women’s sports teams.
In 2019, the men’s football team was given about $9 million, more than half of the budget for men’s sports. This money went toward the team’s student aid, travel and game expenses, among other expenses, Mike Ashcraft, assistant athletics director for communications, said in an email.
The other five men’s sports teams split the remainder of the budget, which was about $6 million.
Ashcraft said sports funding is based on the needs of each sport.
“We allocate funding to the sports based on the needs of each program with consideration to equity and to the resources available to us,” Ashcraft said in an email.
With more support from the athletics department, smaller teams would be able to have the same kind of opportunities as the larger ones, Kendall Ballard, a women’s field hockey player who graduated in 2019, said in an email.
“We would be able to update our locker room, our scoreboard, goals, watering system, and gear,” Ballard said in an email. “The team would also be able to travel to more opponents during the season and even fly to opponents that are farther away.”
While OU football receives the highest amount of funding within the athletic program, in 2019, the men’s head basketball coach Jeff Boals was the highest paid employee at OU, receiving about $581,000 a year, according to The Post’s Salary Guide.
Athletic salaries are determined by a plethora of factors, including experience and position, Ashcraft said.
“Ohio University’s executive compensation philosophy takes into account experience, market data, market influences, performance factors, position criticality and resource availability,” Ashcraft said in an email. “The University relies on these factors when determining initial compensation as well as salary increases due to position changes or raises.”
Boals receives more money than both OU President Duane Nellis, at about $489,000 a year, and head football coach Frank Solich, at $525,000 a year, according to the Salary Guide.
Before becoming president of OU, Nellis worked as an administrator at several universities, including as the provost and senior vice president at Kansas State University in 2004. Nellis was hired by OU in 2017, according to the university’s website. Solich began his coaching career 21 years ago and was hired by OU in 2005, according to Sports Reference.
Boals began his coaching career about 13 years ago and was hired by OU in 2019, according to CantonRep.
Ballard said she appreciated the opportunity to be a student athlete at OU.
“I have been given so many opportunities through being a student athlete,” Ballard said in an email. “As student athletes we get to receive an education, travel the country, and make some amazing friendships all while playing the sport we love.”