Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Athletic budget cut update #31 - Conference USA making major cuts

Conference USA has announced significant cuts including: reducing the size of team travel parties, including football (66); modifying baseball and women's soccer schedules to reduce days of travel; potentially moving to divisional play in men's and women's basketball while combining the men's and women's basketball tournaments in 2010 in Tulsa; reducing the number of teams participating in post season championships in women's soccer (6), baseball (6), men's soccer (4), softball (8), and volleyball (8). Volleyball might also have their championship eliminated in 2010. The Conference office is also reducing the operating budget and instituting a hiring freeze.

Oregon State Athletic Director Bob DeCarolis announced a number of ominous details related to the athletic budget. Fundraising is down my $1 million from the previous year with a net loss of 600 donors and 12% of football season tickets were not renewed (1,200 seats).

Washington State has revised their anticipated budget shortfall to $350,000 for each of the next two years. Although no teams will be cut this year, athletic director Jim Sterk stopped short of saying no teams would be eliminated in 2010-11. The article also indicates that the Pac 10 is investigating conference revenue sharing.

Tulane Executive Associate Athletic Director Brandon Macneill detailed a number of cuts that will be implemented for the Green Wave including: a salary and hiring freeze on most non-coaching positions, consistent with University policy; delaying until 2011-12 the addition of sports that will allow them to have the NCAA minimum sponsorship level of 16 while considering sand volleyball as a possible sport offering; reducing the department travel budget by 25% by mandating bus travel for all games that are less than 400 miles from campus and increasing regional and local competition.

Central Florida Athletic Director Keith Tribble is meeting with all coaches to conduct line-by-line reviews of the athletic budget. Regional contest scheduling will be part of the reductions as well as establishing a 500 mile minimum before air travel is permitted for teams. UCF is also examining squad sizes, limiting the number of competitions, furloughs, and more in state football scheduling.

The Charleston Daily Mail has a detailed article that compares the athletic financial situation at Marshall to the rest of Conference USA and the challenges that Marshall's new athletic director (they are searching for one now) will face.

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