Delaware State

Delaware State University athletics budget leads MEAC while its teams look for success

Delaware State University has an athletics budget that leads the MEAC but its teams are still searching for success. What can Del State do to turn those dollars into W’s.

When it comes to spending among Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) schools, none reported a higher athletics budget than Delaware State University.

A recent report from USA Today listed the athletic budgets of public Division I programs for the 2022 fiscal year, and DSU had more than the seven MEAC schools that reported. Howard University, the conference’s lone private HBCU was not a part of the report.

Delaware State University has a total of 20 athletics programs — one less than Howard, but four more than the next closest MEAC programs. 

Delaware State University athletics budget

Beyond the MEAC, three SWAC programs — Prairie View A&M ($18.8 million), Southern ($18.5 million) and Alabama State ($17.8 million) — all spent more than DSU. 

Just under $15 million of its $16.2 million athletics budget was allocated by the University. That percentage was just over 92 percent, a number that only four universities —  Cal State-Northridge, Chicago State, Cal-San Diego and New Jersey Tech — had a higher dependence on general funds. 

“In these times, we recognize that dollars are tight for everyone and we want to make sure that we’re being purposeful, intentional,” DSU AD Alecia Shields-Gadsen told Delaware Online. “We’ve now made that a priority, and we just got to do better. … So, yes, we are now being very intentional.”

Stephen Kimes, DSU’s track and field/cross country coach, has seen things improve since he took over the programs in 2019.

“Obviously, we’ve gotten support from Delaware State University that has allowed us to resurrect the program, build it back up. We’ve been top three in the league in both genders.”

While the commitment to spending on athletics is commendable, it hasn’t translated to conference championships in men’s and women’s basketball, nor football, in more than a decade and a half.

“When you look at the dollars that we’re spending,” Shields-Gadsen said, “we have a model that we try to ensure that every program has access to championships.”

Delaware State University athletics budget leads MEAC while its teams look for success
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