Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Njsiaa Says It Finally Will Break Even

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Njsiaa Says It Finally Will Break Even

Article excerpt

ROBBINSVILLE - Wednesday was a red-letter day for the NJSIAA. Or to be more specific, a black-letter day.

For the first time since the 2005-2006 school year, the NJSIAA's executive committee approved a budget that did not include a projected deficit at year's end.

"And I want to emphasize that it was done while maintaining every program we offer," said executive director Steve Timko. "We have always maintained that the student-athletes are the most important consideration."

The committee approved a so-called "zero" or break-even budget for 2013-14 that calls for $5.2 million in expenditures, a $168,000 reduction from the current budget, and an identical amount in revenue. It's the first time the association has not projected a shortfall since its finances fell under the scrutiny of Assemblyman John J. Burzichelli (D-Gloucester), its most outspoken critic.

The association, which has suffered under a Burzichelli- sponsored law that has limited since 2010 how much it can charge for admission to state championship events, has lost money in all but one year since then. But it managed to lower that deficit to just $33,692 of a projected $408,000 shortfall in 2011-2012 (the last year numbers are available).

"We're looking for ways to be more creative and not rely so much on ticket revenue," said business administrator Gary Zarrilli, who is optimistic the association will be "nowhere near" the $405,000 deficit projected for 2012-13 and even hinted at a possible profit.

The NJSIAA expects to save $250,000 in the upcoming budget by eliminating the printing of programs for championship events and putting that information on its website, and another significant amount by shifting the financial responsibility and reward for the second and third rounds of the state basketball tournaments to the host schools.

That is similar to what the association did this past year with the district wrestling tournaments, which resulted in a $40,000 savings. …

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