Sports budget crunch: $4M deficit at Minnesota, $5M at W.Va.

MINNEAPOLIS — With the end of this virus-disrupted school year drawing nearer, a predictably bleak financial outlook for major college sports has emerged from the budgeting process.

The West Virginia athletic department announced Friday a projected $5 million shortfall, with pay cuts for coaches and staffers queued up in response.

There’s a $4 million deficit in the Minnesota athletic department’s forecast for the fiscal year ending June 30, and athletic director Mark Coyle said Friday “no doubt, everything is on the table” for cost-savings consideration. High earners there have already agreed to pay cuts and hiring and spending freezes have been enacted, but future measures like travel reduction could also lead to the elimination of sports programs.

In February, before the virus outbreak caused the cancellation of the NCAA basketball tournaments and the corresponding sharp decrease in revenue, the Gophers were forecasting a $1 million surplus for the 2019-20 fiscal year thanks in part to a surge in football ticket sales and fundraising related to a strong 2019 season for that team. Now they’re likely to finish in the red, Coyle said at a Board of Regents meeting conducted by video conference.

“We’re trying to be incredibly nimble with our response,” Coyle said.

Minnesota’s $123 million budget is the eighth-largest in the Big Ten, trailing in order Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Michigan State and Iowa. The Gophers have 25 varsity teams, the fourth-most in the conference. Both regents during the meeting and reporters in a news conference afterward asked Coyle about cutting sports from an overall program that has enjoyed sustained, national success in sports like volleyball, wrestling and softball. Coyle kept to the script and did not offer many specifics, but clearly such a measure would be a last resort for a department that has long held a strong sense of pride in the diversity of the Gophers program.

“I would argue we have maximized our revenue better than most across the country,” Coyle said.

The Gophers were ahead of the curve in some areas. Three senior staff members departed the university for other jobs and were not replaced. Still, difficult decisions will have to be made in the coming weeks as the projected 2020-21 budget cycle approaches.

The cancellation of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament cost schools a collective $375 million. Minnesota’s athletic department is bracing for a $75 million loss of expected revenue in the worst-case scenario of no fall sports and thus no televised football games. Games played without fans admitted projects to a $30 million drop in revenue. The best-case scenario of campus reopening in the fall and sports played as scheduled would bring an estimated $10 million hit. Those figures don’t account for reduced expenses in travel and other areas due to the pandemic.

“We’re not alone in this situation,” deputy AD and chief financial officer Rhonda McFarland told the board. “There are only a handful of athletic departments that could manage a $30 million loss and likely very few that would survive $75 million reduction in revenue. That is the nature of the national landscape at this time.”

At West Virginia, athletic director Shane Lyons said he’ll take a 10% salary reduction for the next fiscal year. Football coach Neal Brown, men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins, women’s basketball coach Mike Carey and baseball coach Randy Mazey also will voluntarily take the 10% reduction starting July 1. Coaches and athletic staff earning more than $100,000 will take a 5% salary reduction, and those making less than $100,000 will take a 2.5% reduction.

rn{% endblock %}"},"start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/limit-signup-optimizely/start"},{"id":"limit-signup","count":12,"action":"ignore","mute":true,"action_config":{"template":"{% extends "grid" %}rnrn{% block heading_text %}Youu2019ve read your 10 free articles for this 30 day period. Sign up now for local coverage you wonu2019t find anywhere else, special sections and your favorite columnists. StarTribune puts Minnesota and the world right at your fingertips. {% endblock %}rnrn{% block last %}rn{{ parent() }}rn{# limit Krux pixel from https://www.squishlist.com/strib/customshop/328/ #}rnrnrn{% endblock %}"},"start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/limit-signup/start"},{"id":"meter-desktop-331","count":10,"action":"ignore","mute":false,"action_config":false,"start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/meter-desktop-331/start"},{"id":"PDA991499opt","count":9,"action":"ignore","mute":true,"action_config":false,"start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/PDA991499opt/start"},{"id":"limit","count":8,"action":"inject","mute":false,"action_config":{"template":"

rnrnrnrn

rn

rn

rn rn

rn t

rn SUBSCRIBErn Already a subscriber? Log in.rn

rn

All Star Tribune readers without a Digital Access subscription are given a limited number of complimentary articles every 30 days. Once the article limit is reached we ask readers to purchase a subscription including Digital Access to continue reading. Digital Access is included in all multi-day paper home delivery, Sunday + Digital, and Premium Digital Access subscriptions. After the 1 month Premium Digital Access introductory period you will be charged at a rate of $14.99 per month. You can see all subscription options or login to an existing subscription herern

rn rn

rn

rn

rn

rn

rn"},"start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/limit/start"},{"id":"nag","count":7,"action":"lightbox","mute":true,"action_config":{"height":null,"width":"630px","redirect_on_close":null,"template":"{% extends "shell" %}rnrn{% block substyles %}rn

rn{% endblock %}rnrn{% block page %}rn{#rnrn{{ limit - count - 1 }}rnrn{{ form.flow_form_open({nextAction: 'firstSlide'}, null, null, '_top') }}rn {{ form.btn('Save Now') }}rn{{ form.flow_form_close() }}rnrn

rnrnrnu2022 rnrnrnrn#}rn

rn

rn

You have {{ limit - count - 1 }} articles left

rn

rn rn u00a0u00a0u2022u00a0u00a0rn rn

rn

rn

rn

rn Save More Todayrn

Over 70% off!

rn

rn

rn

rn

99u00a2 for first 4 weeks

rn {{ form.flow_form_open({nextAction: 'firstSlide'}, null, null, '_top') }}rn {{ form.button('Save Now', 'btn nag-btn') }}rn {{ form.flow_form_close() }}rn

rn

rn{% endblock %}rnrn{% block last %}rn{{ parent() }}rnrn{% endblock %}"},"start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/nag/start"},{"id":"x","count":4,"action":"ignore","mute":true,"action_config":false,"start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/x/start"},{"id":"multi-start","count":3,"action":"fly_in","mute":true,"action_config":{"location":"bottom_left","slide_direction":"bottom","group_id":null,"display_delay":"0","collapse_delay":"10","template":"

rn

rn

rn

rn u00d7rn

rn

rn

From just

rn

$3.79 99u00a2 a week

rn Save nowrn

rn

rn

"},"start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/multi-start/start"}]};

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *