North Texas Daily

Report finds North Texas athletics underperforming in nearly every area

Report finds North Texas athletics underperforming in nearly every area

September 29
15:42 2016

A report issued by Dallas-Fort Worth consultants Trip Kuehne and Michael Sicuro revealed the North Texas athletic department is underperforming and lackluster in nearly every area of operation, according to documents obtained by the Denton Record-Chronicle.

The evaluation was commissioned by UNT President Neal Smatresk and identifies major flaws such as revenue generation, communication within the department and budget pitfalls. Overall, the duo believes “the [athletic department] is under-performing at virtually every level resulting from a lack of leadership, inadequate funding, outdated and/or poorly maintained facilities and in many cases, non-existent internal processes.”

In terms of revenue, UNT ranked 85th out of 231 collegiate athletic programs in 2014, good enough for fifth in Conference USA. The two main sports on campus, football and men’s basketball, are both floundering for revenue, and rank sixth and 10th, respectively, in C-USA. One of the biggest problems cited in the report was customer service and communication, highlighted by an anecdote of a fan who “wanted to give money to the [athletic department], but nobody ever answered the phone.”

North Texas also has the lowest recruiting budget in C-USA and is second to last in total scholarship expenditures. Additionally, across all sports, there was found to be “dysfunctional and not cohesive” scheduling methods, which has led to fan dissatisfaction and lower attendance.

Finally, there was the glaring problem of facilities. Aside from Apogee Stadium, the report indicates a majority of fields, the athletic village and locker rooms are “below standards and need improvement.” Within the report were several pictures of problems ranging from water damage on the track to unsanitary drinking fountains in locker rooms.

Despite the main negatives of the report, Kuehne and Sicuro were encouraged by the hiring of new athletic director Wren Baker and believe he will be a strong leader capable of fixing the aforementioned issues. Baker was brought on in late July to replace former A.D. Rick Villarreal, who announced his resignation in May.

To complete their investigation, the tandem toured nearly every athletic facility and the entire UNT campus. The process took over 350 hours to complete, and all coaches, staff and UNT personnel were cooperative, according to the report. Kuehne and Sicuro said, for the most part, they found “an overwhelming desire for the [athletic department] to be successful and a strong passion and commitment from the department.”

About Author

Reece Waddell

Reece Waddell

Reece Waddell was the Editor-in-Chief of the North Texas Daily from May 2017 to December 2017. He previously served as the Sports Editor and Senior Sports Writer. Reece also worked at The Dallas Morning News and WFAA-TV.

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