Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Athletic budget cut update #33

The Pac-10 is proposing NCAA legislation in a number of sports in an effort to drive cost containment. Proposed changes include - counting competition in the non-championship segment in the sports of cross country, volleyball, field hockey, women's lacrosse, softball and soccer against the maximum number of permissible contests in the championship segment; eliminating printed media guides or other recruiting brochures; eliminating conference and institutional foreign travel and eliminating the regional championships in track and field. The conference is also independently reducing the travel squad sizes for conference championships and eliminating gifts for student athletes at the championships, saving approximately $1million.

The Mid-American Conference is changing its men's and women's basketball tournament format for the next two years, creating a structure where only 8 teams will advance to the championships in Cleveland. In addition, the conference is eliminating printed media guides, eliminating men's and women's basketball lunches and eliminating gifts for student athletes at all 23 Conference championships.

Hawaii's interest in establishing a student fee to support athletics does not appear to have enough political support at this time and will delay its possible implementation.

Stony Brook (NY) is facing a $1.2 million cut to its $20 million athletic budget and the simultaneous challenge of increasing its scholarship allocation by 126 slots to offer scholarship football (63 grants) and 63 women's grants for Title IX purposes. Stony Brook is also eliminating a charter flight to VMI (saving $40,000) and considering delaying groundbreaking on a $20 million arena.

UC Riverside is considering moving from plane travel to bus and van travel for some trips, eliminating some hotel stays and reducing staff travel in order to help close the gap of a 10% budget reduction ($870,000). Ultimatesportsinsider.com as well as NACDA Executive Director Mike Cleary are also quoted in the article.

ESPN's Pat Forde has an in-depth article about the decline of on-field competition between traditional football powers and the role of home games in enhancing athletic budgets for the major football powers that contributes to the decline.

Moody's Investor Services has just released a study in which it indicates that the worst is yet to come for higher education budgets. Moody's issued a negative rating for 55 institutions and downgraded the rating of another 20 schools in the report.

CentralJersey.com has an article that discusses the decision by Rutgers to cut six sports three years ago while simultaneously sending their men's basketball team to Spain. Although one has to wonder about the motivation of bringing up three year old "news", it does present a cautionary tale in these difficult budgetary times about the challenge of cutting in some areas while appearing to spend extravagantly in other areas.


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