Final thoughts on UNT’s budget

Well, we now officially know where all the money comes from in UNT’s athletic budget.

Just to reiterate, UNT had some information in its budget presentation that showed a pretty significant reduction in the school’s expenditure budget for athletics.

Once we received some clarification, UNT is still sitting at about $29 million for its overall athletics budget once all the sources were taken into account. That matches what is in the USA Today database.

UNT is pretty competitive in terms of its overall budget when it comes to C-USA schools.

Tuesday afternoon notes (UNT budgetary figures, updated with complete explanation)

And the answer – Bob Brown, UNT’s vice president of finance, was nice enough to provide the answer to our UNT budget question. It’s a little complicated, but in the end it makes sense. UNT’s athletic budget was divided into a few items. There is the $18.2 million base budget, $5.2 million in the debt service budget, $4.5 million in the student financial aid/scholarship budget and about $1.1 million in anticipated receipts from non-ticket sales and revenues that will be budgeted as they money is received.

Altogether, the athletic budget is approximately $29 million.

The base budget is what went down slightly. The overall budget went up slightly.

The decrease will not impact UNT because of the increases in other areas, including ticket revenue, donations, et cetera.

Update – I had a chance to get a question or five in with the UNT athletic department to get a better perspective of where the numbers in UNT’s budget proposal came from and what they mean. UNT athletic department officials said that there will be a bit of belt tightening around the university this year, but when added revenue from C-USA, additional funds that come in through fundraising and increased ticket sales are taken into account UNT’s total athletic budget will be around $29 million, up slightly from last year. That is a huge difference between the budget proposal and where UNT officials said the budget will actually be.

Here is the link to the full proposal, where the figures came from: UNT budget proposal. The slide that shows the funding per department is at the end of the packet.

I should be able to find out where the difference came up in the next couple of days.

UNT is continuing to look at its financial situation in the wake of some difficulties over the last few months (and that might be putting it mildly). Our university writer Jenna Duncan picked up some budget figures for UNT at a meeting today that are of some interest when it comes to the athletics front.

UNT’s proposed athletics budget for 2015 is $18.2 million, down 18.7 percent from 2014, when UNT spent $22.4 million on athletics and just under what it spent in 2013.

I have put in a call to get a better understanding of where the difference comes from, but part of the change is rooted in the entry fee UNT is paying to Conference USA. We mentioned in our summer series that UNT is about to make the third of four payments to cover the $2 million entry fee this August. That fee will soon be paid off. UNT won’t have to add it in the budget in the future. Once it comes off the books that will no longer be included in the total.

UNT has continued to increase its spending on athletics over the last few years and was on the verge of adding a baseball program, a project that moved to the back burner to a certain extent while UNT sorts out what it needs to do to rectify its financial issues going forward.

The budget figures in today’s presentation indicate that UNT is set to remain close to where it has been the last few years financially after paying off its C-USA fees.

And in other news, the turmoil in Austin heading into UNT’s season-opener at Texas continues. Three more Texas players are down to their last strike and are in danger of being dismissed.

Chett Munden commits to UNT


Marshall offensive lineman Chett Munden committed to UNT on Monday night following a weekend visit to Denton for the Mean Green’s annual Friday Night Lights camp.

“I loved it,” Munden said. “It felt like home. I had to talk to my head coach before I committed. I talked to him and called the UNT coaches this evening.”

Munden, who is 6-foot-7 and 305 pounds, was a first-team All-District 14-4A selection as a junior. UNT offensive line coach Mike Simmonds recruited Munden, who projects as a tackle on the college level.

Munden said he chose UNT over an offer from Louisiana-Monroe. Here are his Hudl highlights.

Munden visited UNT earlier this summer during an event reserved for the Mean Green’s top recruiting targets.

Munden developed a friendship with Converse Judson offensive lineman Abdul Beecham during that weekend event. Both returned to UNT for the Mean Green’s Friday night camp, where Beecham committed. Munden joined UNT’s class three days later.

“Abdul and I have been talking since June,” Munden said. “When he committed it made me want to commit even more. I figured I would do it instead of waiting. I could go ahead and relax.”

For more on Munden, see Wednesday’s edition of the Denton Record-Chronicle.

Monday afternoon notes (recruiting tidbits and bowl projections)

Just to follow up, Du’vonta Lampkin, a big-time defensive tackle out of Cy Falls UNT was in on, committed to Texas this afternoon.

And that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to recruiting news on this Monday afternoon. Darrion Landry, a wide receiver out of Blinn JC that UNT is after, told the guys at the Herald-Leader that Kentucky is leading when it comes to landing his services.

Finally, Phil Steele has updated his bowl projections and is picking UNT to face Colorado State in the New Mexico Bowl.

Early projections rarely come to fruition, but that would be an interesting match-up considering UNT broke a 42-year bowl drought in a 45-20 loss to the Rams in 2001, ushering in one of the greatest eras in program history that saw the Mean Green play in four straight New Orleans Bowls.

UNT recruiting target set to announce today

Cypress Falls defensive tackle Du’Vonta Lampkin is set to announce his college destination this afternoon.

UNT offered in May. Lumpkin was committed to Oklahoma, but backed out. He’s expected to commit to Texas.

It’s a long, long, long shot for UNT, but it is one of those news tidbits that could impact other players across the state.

Monday morning notes (Two Texas players cleared; will UNT take a QB?)

The on-going saga of who will be on the field when UNT travels to Austin to face Texas took another turn over the weekend that we have to yet to mention here on the blog.

We’ll get to that, but first UNT QB target Chris Riddle posted a photo on his Instagram account of both him and a teammate at Central Florida for media day for host of local high schools. Riddle is a good prospect and was high on UNT when I talked to him a while back for our on-going UNT recruiting target series.

Riddle has visited UCF multiple times.

He’ll land somewhere.

UNT fans are interested in where he ends up and, more importantly, what UNT’s plans are in terms of its quarterback situation going forward.

UNT has Andrew McNulty, Josh Greer, Dajon Williams and Connor Means all on the roster and on scholarship, not to mention a grayshirt quarterback coming in this December in Caleb Chumley. Most expect Chumley to end up as a tight end/defensive end, but he is going to start out at quarterback.

Just don’t be surprised if UNT doesn’t take a quarterback in this class.

Now, back to who is playing and who isn’t at Texas, the school announced over the weekend that two players who received a meal from an agent will be eligible to play this season. The players are reportedly linebackers Jordan Hicks and Steve Edmond. Texas has been jettisoning players left and right. Getting both those linebackers back will be big for the Longhorns.

And finally, Patrick McGee at the Sun Herald came out with a list of the top five programs in the history of Conference USA.

The interesting part? Of the five, four are no longer members of the league.

Sunday night wrap (Lemon video, a look back)

It was a big week overall for UNT — Conference USA media day came and went and so did Friday Night Lights, the Mean Green’s annual prospect/high school camp.

I posted a video earlier this week of Dan McCarney talking about what went down at media day.

I also talked with offensive lineman Cyril Lemon, who had some things to say that I thought would wrap up the week pretty well.

UNT was picked to win Conference USA’s West Division in the league’s preseason poll. Lemon and fellow guard Mason Y’Barbo were named to the preseason all-conference team.

Friday Night Lights also went well. Somewhere around 425 players showed up, including a few key prospects.

UNT picked up a commitment from offensive lineman Abdul Beecham. That is it so far, but it looks like UNT is in good position to land defensive end Myles Cheatum of Cedar Park, who we talked to for our on-going UNT recruiting target series. Cheatum said he was planning on committing once his mom met UNT’s coaches.

UNT could also end up taking Dustin McWhorter, a defensive lineman from Graham. It looked to be a done deal when McWhorter told me on Friday that he planned to commit. Things have been put on hold since.

My take?

One just has to trust the UNT’s staff to manage its board.

UNT’s staff knows who is wants, how many defensive linemen the team needs and where everyone falls on its wish list.

UNT’s staff has proven it knows what it’s doing. It’s time to show a little faith.

We also chatted with JUCO point guard Mike Rodriguez today.

The Marshalltown product will visit UNT this fall and appears to be a UNT lock.

Mike Rodriguez set to visit UNT after solid showing at JUCO camp


Marshalltown (Iowa) JC point guard Mike Rodriguez made the most of his opportunity to shine at All-American JUCO Showcase Elite 80 East camp recently.

Rodriguez averaged about 7 assists and 10 points a game at the event that features some of the top junior college players in the country. He was one of 20 players who were invited to play in the all-star game at the end of the event.

UNT was in prime position to land Rodriguez heading into the camp.

Rodriguez, a 5-foot-10 sophomore, said Sunday that nothing has changed in that regard.

“I am pretty set on going to North Texas,” Rodriguez said. “That is what it is looking like right now.”

UNT is the only team that has offered Rodriguez, who believed that a good showing at the camp could help boost his stock and prompt a host of other schools that had been showing interest to offer him.

Rodriguez and his coach have received several calls, but so far UNT is still the only team that has offered.

UNT assistant coach David Anwar has been recruiting Rodriguez for several months. The two have now set up a general time frame for an official visit.

“I am going to visit in early September,” Rodriguez said. “I just talked with coach Anwar this morning. He couldn’t make it to the camp because he was out of the country.”

Rodriguez said that he is surprised that no other teams have offered since his performance at the JUCO camp. At this point, Rodriguez has narrowed his focus to the upcoming season and building on a freshman year in which he averaged 16.7 points and 4.3 assists a game.

“I told my coach that we will make it to Hutchinson this year,” Rodriguez said of the site of the JUCO national tournament.

It appears as if Rodriguez will head to UNT shortly after the end of Marshalltown’s season.

“I am going to commit in September if things work out,” Rodriguez said.

Dustin McWhorter update


Dustin McWhorter, a defensive lineman from Graham, stopped by near the end of UNT’s Friday Night Lights camp last night and let me know that he planned to commit to the Mean Green today.

I got back in touch with him late this afternoon for an update.

McWhorter is still officially on the market.

“I have not committed yet,” McWhorter said. “The coaches said that they needed to verify everything and didn’t want me to commit yet. I have to get them my transcript.”

Despite having to put off making his decision to go to UNT official, McWhorter is still convinced the school is the best fit for him.

“North Texas is where I would like to go,” McWhorter said. “If another bigger, better offer comes I will look at it, but I will probably go to North Texas. Going to be a bigger school could mean less playing time.”

The obvious question is if UNT is slow-playing McWhorter.

Cedar Park defensive end Myles Cheatum was at UNT’s camp and said he was ready to commit to UNT pending approval from his mother.

Denton defensive end Dailon Holmes is also out there. UNT desperately wants to establish a pipeline to the Denton schools, which is going to be tough to do considering most kids want to get the heck out of town (and that goes for any home town) for college.

There is no telling how UNT’s board shapes up, how many defensive linemen the school wants to take or where McWhorter is in terms of UNT’s wish list.

All we know right now is that he wants to come to UNT. I wouldn’t be surprised if that ends up happening. It just didn’t happen today.

Converse Judson offensive lineman Abdul Beecham talks about commitment to UNT


Converse Judson offensive lineman Abdul Beecham committed to North Texas last night during the Mean Green’s annual Friday Night Lights camp at Apogee Stadium.

We covered Beecham’s decision briefly in last night’s running blog during the camp.

Beecham talked more about his decision after the evening was over.

“I feel good about it,” Beecham said. “I woke up every morning thinking about it. I slept on it, talked to my parents about it and prayed about it. North Texas felt like home.”

Beecham, who is 6-foot-3 and 285 pounds, was a first-team All-District 26-5A selection as a junior last season and was also named to Dave Campbell’s Texas Football’s preseason Class 6A all-state team.

Houston, Baylor and Oklahoma State were among about a dozen teams that showed interest in Beecham, but only UNT offered.

The commitment UNT showed by offering Beecham early helped convince him the school was the right place to continue his career. Beecham visited UNT earlier this summer during a series of events for the Mean Green’s top recruiting targets and returned early Friday to tour UNT’s facilities before finalizing his decision.

“The fact that North Texas showed me that I am a priority is important,” Beecham said. “I had the big schools like Oklahoma and Texas that showed a little interest here or there, but nothing like North Texas. They made a commitment and an effort to show that they wanted and needed me.”

For more on Beecham, see Sunday’s edition of the Denton Record-Chronicle.