Sunday, March 25News That Matters

Deep pockets: Tiger Athletic Foundation gives $23 million to LSU athletics in 2016, documents show

 Deep pockets: Tiger Athletic Foundation gives $23 million to LSU athletics in 2016, documents show

The Tiger Athletic Foundation in 2016 contributed more than $10 million to LSU athletics for operating expenses, but that’s not all.

TAF, a nonprofit corporation supporting LSU athletics, gave the university another $12.8 million in donations for the golf program’s practice facility locker room, the gymnastics facility, the Bob Pettit statue and tennis facility.

TAF’s figures were available Monday in a report of the LSU athletic department produced by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor. The report was carried out by an independent certified public accounting firm last spring and is performed each year to evaluate the athletic department. There were no findings from the report.

TAF gave $10,596,644 to LSU athletics for operating expenses in the calendar year 2016, up about $2 million from 2015, according to last year’s numbers. The club gave $12 million for operating expenses in 2014. In 2016 TAF contributions, the football program received $2.4 million, far out-distancing the $239,961 given to men’s basketball. Women’s basketball received $60,561. All other sports, including baseball, took in $1.4 million.

About $6.3 million of the $10.5 million was not listed to a specific sports program. Combined with the $12.8 million in facilities donations, the club contributed more than $23 million, about $1 million more than in 2015.

Meanwhile, LSU raked in $35.1 million in overall contributions for the 2016-17 academic year, an 11 percent ($3.3 million) increase from the 2015-16 school year, according to the documents. The auditor’s report notes a primary reason for the increase: a $2 million gain in TAF contributions and more revenue collected for the Football Tradition Fund, which consists of donations associated with football, basketball, and baseball tickets.

Of the $35.1 million in contributions, a whopping $25.3 million went to coaching salaries, benefits and bonuses, the documents say.

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