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UCLA athletics lost $18.9 million in 2019

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A financial report by UCLA athletics paints a dark picture about the current state of affairs, as the department reported a $18.9 million deficit for the 2019 fiscal year, per Jon Wilner of the Bay Area News Group.

Per Wilner: “The Bruins generated $108.4 million in revenue against $127.3 million in expenses for the 12-month period that included Chip Kelly’s first season as the football coach and the tumultuous basketball stretch in which Steve Alford was dismissed.”

Wilner reports that this is the first time in 15 years the athletic department has lost money, and that it “coincides with the final months of athletic director Dan Guerrero’s tenure.”

Guerrero will be retiring in June.

He was asked to interview with the Bay Area News Group but instead issued the following statement: “Fiscal responsibility has been a hallmark of UCLA Athletics and being almost completely self-funded while growing the budget from $42 million in 2002 to $130 million currently has been a point of pride.”

The money lost “will be covered by an interest-bearing loan from central campus, according to a spokesperson,” per Wilner.

Back to the topic of Chip Kelly, the Bruins football program has been a mess since he arrived, going 7-17 while missing a bowl game both seasons. The poor quality on the field has impacted the bottom line, to be sure, as you can see here.

With that in mind, it’s hardly surprising that there’s been concern voiced about Kelly’s tenure as the head football coach.