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Thread: Wheeling Jesuit University Sold to Diocese

  1. #1

    Default Wheeling Jesuit University Sold to Diocese

    Looks like the Wheeling-Charleston Diocese stepped up big time to save WJU. This is a major commitment to the future of West Virginia's only Jesuit university from a Diocese that has been closing high schools and churches due to "financial constraints."

    From this morning's article in the Wheeling paper: "Specifically, the university was challenged by its long-term debt, and determined that the annual payments were more than it could sustain, according to a statement released this morning by the university."

    Here's the link: http://www.theintelligencer.net/news...rsitys-assets/

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    Default Re: Wheeling Jesuit University Sold to Diocese

    The Wheeling-Charleston Diocese does have a lot of money.....right???

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    Default Re: Wheeling Jesuit University Sold to Diocese

    Well there you go...WJU's financial difficulties have just been solved. Now if SOMEONE could just come up with SOMTHING to increase undergradate enrolment by say 10% (100 new students)...

    Cost of 100 sets of equipment - $100,000
    Hire a Head Coach - $75,000
    Hire four Assistant Coaches - $120,000 ($30,000/per)
    Buy 20 footballs - $1,400 ($70/per)

    Encourage 100 HS players who have not yet signed to play elsewhere to "walk-on" at WJU

    Schedule fall practices.

    Schedule the following 2017 "Club Football" Schedule:

    Mansfield Sprint team
    Ohio State Club Football team
    Pitt University Club Football team
    Miami Ohio Club Football Team
    George Mason University Club Football Team
    Naval Academy JV Team

    Total first year non travel cost: $296,400. Of course, that $296K will be offset by the $2.8M these 100 new students would pay in tuition.

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    Default Re: Wheeling Jesuit University Sold to Diocese

    [QUOTE=JDonAB92;2052106]The Wheeling-Charleston Diocese does have a lot of money.....right???

    As I read the news articles, what the Diocese did is sell off WJU bonds they held and "bought" the WJU physical plant. In exchange, WJU agreed to use this money to pay off its debt. The diocese agrees to "rent" the WJU physical plant to WJU for a nominal fee (undefined what that is but it could be a dollar a year). As with any university with debt, service of that debt is a tremendous drain on the University. WJU does not have to worry about that now. Effectively this frees up a tremendous amount of money that WJU can use to take actions that increase enrolment and thereby improve its bottom line.

    It will be interesting to see how the WJU faithful spin there refusal to start a football program now. The previous "financial problems" oft sited as the reason are now gone. But I'm sure they will come up with a new reason du jour why they just can't start a football team right now...but MAYBE in five years!!

  5. Default Re: Wheeling Jesuit University Sold to Diocese

    If I remember right, a few years ago Jesuit's debt was somewhere around 40 or 50 million. Yearly payments were 2.5 million a year. So this is major news.

    And since the diocese is kind enough to be hands free and say they will have no day-to-day involvement, that means the Jesuits are still running the university. That said, even though it's the only reason this deal happened, I don't like that we're leasing the land from the Diocese. I know it's going to be something low like 1 dollar a year, but I don't like the bishop having the power to kick us out if he decides he wants to.

    My opinions aside, this is fantastic news.

  6. Default Re: Wheeling Jesuit University Sold to Diocese

    [QUOTE=boatcapt;2052146]
    Quote Originally Posted by JDonAB92 View Post
    The Wheeling-Charleston Diocese does have a lot of money.....right???

    As I read the news articles, what the Diocese did is sell off WJU bonds they held and "bought" the WJU physical plant. In exchange, WJU agreed to use this money to pay off its debt. The diocese agrees to "rent" the WJU physical plant to WJU for a nominal fee (undefined what that is but it could be a dollar a year). As with any university with debt, service of that debt is a tremendous drain on the University. WJU does not have to worry about that now. Effectively this frees up a tremendous amount of money that WJU can use to take actions that increase enrolment and thereby improve its bottom line.

    It will be interesting to see how the WJU faithful spin there refusal to start a football program now. The previous "financial problems" oft sited as the reason are now gone. But I'm sure they will come up with a new reason du jour why they just can't start a football team right now...but MAYBE in five years!!
    Personally, I can just go back to saying that no one on campus wants it, but there's an easier answer.

    We'll just blame Bishop Bransfield now. Diocese owns the land and the Diocese controls the board. Now, any major decisions like starting football will need to be approved by the BOT and any major improvements to what's now Diocese property will need their permission too. It's now entirely in the Bishop's hands, you got to take it up with him.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Wheeling Jesuit University Sold to Diocese

    [QUOTE=boatcapt;2052146]
    Quote Originally Posted by JDonAB92 View Post
    The Wheeling-Charleston Diocese does have a lot of money.....right???

    As I read the news articles, what the Diocese did is sell off WJU bonds they held and "bought" the WJU physical plant. In exchange, WJU agreed to use this money to pay off its debt. The diocese agrees to "rent" the WJU physical plant to WJU for a nominal fee (undefined what that is but it could be a dollar a year). As with any university with debt, service of that debt is a tremendous drain on the University. WJU does not have to worry about that now. Effectively this frees up a tremendous amount of money that WJU can use to take actions that increase enrolment and thereby improve its bottom line.

    It will be interesting to see how the WJU faithful spin there refusal to start a football program now. The previous "financial problems" oft sited as the reason are now gone. But I'm sure they will come up with a new reason du jour why they just can't start a football team right now...but MAYBE in five years!!
    The looming debt and its payments are now gone yes. This, however, does not mean the University it "out of the woods," so to speak. It definitely is not out clear at all until the measures to increase enrollment and stabilize things...then football could be in the equation -- it is not just an easy $$ solution to add a huge amount of non-scholarship football players when you have to build a lot of things and do the $15-plus million start up.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Wheeling Jesuit University Sold to Diocese

    Quote Originally Posted by boatcapt View Post
    Well there you go...WJU's financial difficulties have just been solved. Now if SOMEONE could just come up with SOMTHING to increase undergradate enrolment by say 10% (100 new students)...

    Cost of 100 sets of equipment - $100,000
    Hire a Head Coach - $75,000
    Hire four Assistant Coaches - $120,000 ($30,000/per)
    Buy 20 footballs - $1,400 ($70/per)

    Encourage 100 HS players who have not yet signed to play elsewhere to "walk-on" at WJU

    Schedule fall practices.

    Schedule the following 2017 "Club Football" Schedule:

    Mansfield Sprint team
    Ohio State Club Football team
    Pitt University Club Football team
    Miami Ohio Club Football Team
    George Mason University Club Football Team
    Naval Academy JV Team

    Total first year non travel cost: $296,400. Of course, that $296K will be offset by the $2.8M these 100 new students would pay in tuition.
    You truly do not understand how things in the real world work... you need to add to your expenses there is no locker room, no weight room for a football team, no office space for just a few other items as well. The only things on campus ready to go are 3 things – the actual playing surface, the scoreboard, and lights (which are not even used for many college games). This does not even take into account various other issues as well.

    Oh, and a spring football team such as Mansfield cannot play a JV and/or any regular football team. Sprint football has size limits on its players as just one of the major reasons for this.

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    Default Re: Wheeling Jesuit University Sold to Diocese

    And there you have it. WJU is NEVER going to start football. There will ALWAYS be a reason.

    If you never make a commitment to start football, you will never start to build the infrastructure you claim is necessary to start a football team. Classic Catch 22 - WJU won't start a football program because they don't have football facilities...WJU won't build football facilities because they don't have a football program.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Wheeling Jesuit University Sold to Diocese

    Quote Originally Posted by pennbraz View Post
    You truly do not understand how things in the real world work... you need to add to your expenses there is no locker room, no weight room for a football team, no office space for just a few other items as well. The only things on campus ready to go are 3 things – the actual playing surface, the scoreboard, and lights (which are not even used for many college games). This does not even take into account various other issues as well.

    Oh, and a spring football team such as Mansfield cannot play a JV and/or any regular football team. Sprint football has size limits on its players as just one of the major reasons for this.

    I am not a WJU grad or MEC grad. Just like a good discussion.

    I think there is a more fundamental issue here; a college just got a once in a lifetime bailout.

    So let's see... how are we going to fix the fundamental issues that got us in this situation when many small schools are struggling and keep us from going back into debt? I've got it! Start a football team! Yeh, right. I would expect that would NOT go over well with the new owners. a University official with that type of plan would likely risk a "may I have your resignation please?" response. IMHO, pour the money into making WJU the place to go for a couple of academic majors that would dramatically increase enrollment and demand (which would also be a good survival strategy for the rest of the MEC).

    See http://www.ncaa.org/about/resources/...etics-expenses

    D2 median athletic expenses for schools with football was 7% of institutional expenses in 2012 (only 5% in 2004). . Median athletic expenses for football schools in 2011-2012 was 5.3M per year. median revenue for football schools (D2) was $624,000. Despite the added revenue from football, the net expense (expense - revenue) was $4.5M for football schools versus $3.6M for non-football schools.
    Another problem is that small private schools are having to discount their tuition dramatically to attract students (like 50%).

    Small schools are not alone.
    http://www.ncaa.org/about/resources/...still-minority
    The median FBS school spent $14.7 million to help subsidize its athletics department in 2014, up from a little more than $11 million in 2013. Only 24 FBS schools made money in 2014!

    Folks, IMHO the day of reckoning for athletics (particularly football) is coming as parents see college expenses skyrocket.

  11. Default Re: Wheeling Jesuit University Sold to Diocese

    Quote Originally Posted by Columbuseer View Post
    I am not a WJU grad or MEC grad. Just like a good discussion.

    I think there is a more fundamental issue here; a college just got a once in a lifetime bailout.

    So let's see... how are we going to fix the fundamental issues that got us in this situation when many small schools are struggling and keep us from going back into debt? I've got it! Start a football team! Yeh, right. I would expect that would NOT go over well with the new owners. a University official with that type of plan would likely risk a "may I have your resignation please?" response. IMHO, pour the money into making WJU the place to go for a couple of academic majors that would dramatically increase enrollment and demand (which would also be a good survival strategy for the rest of the MEC).

    Exactly! Jesuit has now been freed from a yearly 2.5 million dollar debt payment, and it would be insane to waste it. For the first time in years, we will finally have a safe surplus, and it absolutely needs to go back in into the endowment that we've run dry. Our first priority needs to be the students already attending. We need to improve and expand academics and keep tuition down. There's no reasonable justification for dumping more money on sports after a decade of deficits.

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    Default Re: Wheeling Jesuit University Sold to Diocese

    Quote Originally Posted by CardinalAlum View Post
    Exactly! Jesuit has now been freed from a yearly 2.5 million dollar debt payment, and it would be insane to waste it. For the first time in years, we will finally have a safe surplus, and it absolutely needs to go back in into the endowment that we've run dry. Our first priority needs to be the students already attending. We need to improve and expand academics and keep tuition down. There's no reasonable justification for dumping more money on sports after a decade of deficits.
    WJU could save a ton of $ by eliminating athletics all together...fire the AD, coaches and athletic staff, eliminate all athletic schollys, sell off (or I guess now, stop leasing) athletic facilities that can't be repurposed to academic programs. You could save millions every year by doing that and that money could be plowed back into the endowment...along with the annual 2.5 million dollar debt payment that WJU has been freed from.
    Last edited by boatcapt; 05-24-2017 at 11:52 AM.

  13. Default Re: Wheeling Jesuit University Sold to Diocese

    Quote Originally Posted by boatcapt View Post
    WJU could save a ton of $ by eliminating athletics all together...fire the AD, coaches and athletic staff, eliminate all athletic schollys, sell off (or I guess now, stop leasing) athletic facilities that can't be repurposed to academic programs. You could save millions every year by doing that and that money could be plowed back into the endowment...along with the annual 2.5 million dollar debt payment that WJU has been freed from.
    Pathetic post

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    Default Re: Wheeling Jesuit University Sold to Diocese

    Quote Originally Posted by Mjtheman View Post
    Pathetic post
    Not really...poster said that WJU should plow the money back into the endowment and academic programs rather than "dumping more money on sports after a decade of deficits." As all DII sports operate at a deficit, why should WJU continue dumping $ into them when that money could be better served replenishing the endowment and attending to the needs of academic programs??

  15. #15

    Default Re: Wheeling Jesuit University Sold to Diocese

    I don’t think anyone is making the argument to abolish all sports to save $. I think the decision each school has to make is: how much $ do you want to lose on athletics and what is the “sweet spot” of supported sports that provides the greatest return on the investment in terms of student activities (even though it is not a direct revenue return).
    The median yearly net loss to support football (after football revenue is included) is about 900K more than for schools without football. As I have stated in other posts, IMHO the additional football expenses for 5 or 6 events a year at home does not seem to justify the cost for D2 schools. Compare that to the number of home events in basketball, volleyball, etc.
    A possible tipping point: Should someone successfully sue a school for long-term injuries at age 50 that were caused by playing football in college, schools will drop football like a hot potato

  16. #16

    Default Re: Wheeling Jesuit University Sold to Diocese

    Endowments are an interesting topic. They indicate the financial strength of a college to get through tough times. Probably more important for private schools. It is also an indicator of the success/generosity/gratitude factor of the graduates.

    Did some research: Based on US News and World Report,
    Bethany College has an endowment of $77M. Impressive.
    WJU has about $15M.
    Of the state supported MEC schools, West Liberty is 2nd from bottom at about $10.8M in 2015. Only WV State with $3+M was lower. Other state schools were significantly higher.
    WLU and WV State might want to reconsider their priorities with respect to football, given these numbers. That is not much of a cushion.

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    Default Re: Wheeling Jesuit University Sold to Diocese

    Reference concussions and football. I read a interesting article from the Institute of Medicine. In the article they broke down athletic related concussions per 10,000 encounters (1 player playing in a game is an encounter...participating in a practice is a separate encounter) by sport and compared the rates of injury in HS and college. In HS the rate of concussion is dramatically higher for football players than any other sport. But a funny thing happens when you look at college football concussions compared to other college sports...The rate falls well below Wresting and mens Hockey to a point were it is the same as the concussion rate incurred by womens Basketball and Soccer partisipants.

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    Default Re: Wheeling Jesuit University Sold to Diocese

    I don't think endowment dollars go to athletics (or a particular sport) unless that is what the particular endowment stipulates. Were I wealthy enough, I could set up an endowment at WLU with the stipulation that it be used to fund one football scholarship. WLU would manage the money I gave to them for the endowment and insure it was spent per my wishes. I don't believe they can use my $ for anything other than what I have provided it for. As I understand it, some (most??) endowments are unrestricted and can be used for any legit college expense.

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but WLU has the WLU Foundation which has a current balance of $15M give or take. While technically not part of the endowment, it is invested for long term growth with specific annual costs such as particular scholarships and other recurring costs and expenses. Most of the general alumni giving that is not earmarked for a specific program or "campaign" goes here. I'm sure other colleges have a similar thing.
    Last edited by boatcapt; 05-24-2017 at 07:05 PM.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Wheeling Jesuit University Sold to Diocese

    Quote Originally Posted by boatcapt View Post
    WJU could save a ton of $ by eliminating athletics all together...fire the AD, coaches and athletic staff, eliminate all athletic schollys, sell off (or I guess now, stop leasing) athletic facilities that can't be repurposed to academic programs. You could save millions every year by doing that and that money could be plowed back into the endowment...along with the annual 2.5 million dollar debt payment that WJU has been freed from.

    Gosh I wish there was a button so I could "Like" this post.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Wheeling Jesuit University Sold to Diocese

    Quote Originally Posted by boatcapt View Post
    Reference concussions and football. I read a interesting article from the Institute of Medicine. In the article they broke down athletic related concussions per 10,000 encounters (1 player playing in a game is an encounter...participating in a practice is a separate encounter) by sport and compared the rates of injury in HS and college. In HS the rate of concussion is dramatically higher for football players than any other sport. But a funny thing happens when you look at college football concussions compared to other college sports...The rate falls well below Wresting and mens Hockey to a point were it is the same as the concussion rate incurred by womens Basketball and Soccer partisipants.
    Read the article. One clarification. The stat is REPORTED concussions. The article states that there is a culture in colleges for players not to self report concussions which could explain this obvious sampling bias.

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