Sunday, May 3, 2009

Athletic budget cut update #24 - New Orleans Privateers face more hurdles

New Orleans students voted down a proposal to increase student fees to help support the athletic program. The failed referendum brings UNO closer to the previously discussed possibility of either dropping the athletic program entirely, or perhaps dropping from Division I to a lower classification.

Washington State has announced that the athletic department budget will be cut by $350,000 and Beasley Coliseum (the basketball arena) will lose state funding and become a self-supporting entity. The cut is approximately 1% of the department's operating budget. A 10.8% cut imposed across the rest of the University will eliminate 371 jobs and several academic departments, including the sports management program.

Louisiana Monroe Athletic Director Bobby Staub has scheduled three guarantee football games for the 2009 season (Texas, Arizona State and Kentucky) that will bring in approximately $2.5 million in revenue.

Boise State's football season ticket renewals are off the pace from previous years and they are offering a three month payment plan option (for a $15 fee) for ticket holders who have seen the price of tickets increase 17%, the addition of a seventh home game and increases in Boise Athletic Association membership contributions necessary to maintain seats.

Lastly, Macarne.com wrote an in-depth examination of the economic situation facing many colleges and universities entitled "Colleges Flunk Economics Test as Harvard Model Destroys Budgets". It suggests that higher education has created a bubble similar to what we are seeing in other sectors of the economy. Its worth reading, if for no other reason, to see some of the staggering tuition costs that are being charged across the country. It's also very sobering in that college athletic programs, even at their economic best, are by definition a subsidiary of its sponsoring institution and their fortunes tied to the health of the sponsoring school.

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