IU basketball's trip to The Bahamas cost six figures and was paid for by program donors
BLOOMINGTON – Paid for, according to the university, entirely by friends of the program, the cost of IU’s August trip to The Bahamas ran into six figures.
In response to a request from IndyStar, an Indiana University athletic department official outlined a breakdown of $363,665.60 in overall expenses for the weeklong foreign tour. Included in that total were a variety of costs, from meals, to charter air travel and additional transportation while on the island, money to pay for officials to travel to and work the games, and a $180,000 fee to a third-party company for arranging key aspects of the trip.
According to IU Associate Athletic Director Jeremy Gray, the trip was funded entirely by program donors.
That total cost lands IU in the middle of what appears to be the going rate for a preseason trip to The Bahamas, a popular foreign-tour destination for some of college basketball’s premier programs.
According to a 2015 report in the Louisville Courier-Journal, Kentucky reported nearly $793,000 in expenses for a trip to The Bahamas — the Wildcats, like IU, played their games at the Atlantis Resort. In the same summer, North Carolina reported expenses totaling $154,825.91.
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For Indiana, about half of the cost of this summer’s trip came from the department’s arrangement with Complete Sports Management (CSM).
According to documents obtained via records request, a contract signed between CSM and IU covered arrangements around staging of both the Hoosiers’ games against Serbian side BC Mega.
CSM also provided IU 13 rooms in the Atlantis Royal Towers, 20 in the Cove (the resort has multiple hotels on the property) and two suites. The contract covered most of the Hoosiers’ meals and “team building activities” during the trip, as well as ground transportation in Nassau and, crucially, COVID insurance for the department’s entire traveling party.
CSM also covered BC Mega’s expenses in coming over from Europe, a departure from — by way of comparison — the structure of Kentucky’s trip.
Another $125,000 of IU’s total expenses covered chartered air travel to and from The Bahamas. Indiana University has employed more charter travel in recent years after getting rid of its school-owned private planes.
The rest of the expenses filled gaps not covered in the CSM agreement, according to Gray, things like officials’ travel and accommodations, added meals, unexpected transportation costs and other incidentals.
This was IU’s first foreign tour since Tom Crean took his team to Montreal in 2014. According to a report filed at the time, Indiana logged $232,170.58 in expenses on that trip.
Follow IndyStar reporter Zach Osterman on Twitter: @ZachOsterman.