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Regents to address $67 million Athletics deficit in June meeting

The Board needs to break even on end of fiscal year budget

Athletics+spending%2C+such+as+the+funds+used+on+football+facilities+rennovations%2C+led+to+the+deficit+they+face+now.
Athletics spending, such as the funds used on football facilities rennovations, led to the deficit they face now.

Athletics spending, such as the funds used on football facilities rennovations, led to the deficit they face now.

John Freitag | Daily Evergreen File

John Freitag | Daily Evergreen File

Athletics spending, such as the funds used on football facilities rennovations, led to the deficit they face now.

IAN SMAY, Evergreen news editor

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The WSU Board of Regents decided not to address the estimated $67 million deficit facing Athletics in their May meeting, instead choosing to address the issue at their June meeting.

The Board never intended to take action on the issue during their May meeting, Phil Weiler, WSU Vice President for Marketing and Communications, said. The issue was listed as a future action item on the agenda and the Board wanted to wait until June to have a better idea of the actual budget closer to the end of the fiscal year.

State law requires the governing body a state university whose athletics department projects a deficit to create a plan on how to address the deficit by the end of the fiscal year on June 30.

“We’re not allowed by law to have a loss for the institution as a whole,” Weiler said. “It’s not uncommon that, one area might be running a deficit, but another area is running a surplus or essentially has money in the bank.”

To address the Athletics budget, the Board must find surplus funds in other areas of the university to cover the shortfall projected for Athletics. However, this will be a routine “on-paper” move that will not actually take money away from other areas of WSU, Weiler said.

“Once we turn into the new fiscal year, that transaction gets reversed,” he said. “Once you have gotten into the new fiscal year, then, if a unit is running a deficit, that deficit goes back on their books. They don’t get bailed out, they eventually have to deal with that deficit.”

The accumulated multi-million dollar shortfall came as a result of many things, including overspending and the construction of facilities, such as the renovations to the Cougar Football Complex and Martin Stadium from 2011-2014, Weiler said.

“It’s not just one thing, it’s a variety of things,” he said. “In some cases, they were simply spending more money then they were bringing in.”

Current Athletic Director Pat Chun will need to find ways to increase revenues to cover this deficit in the coming years, Weiler said.

“That’s really the charge for our new Athletic Director,” he said. “He needs to get his budget right-sized so that revenues meet expenditures.”

WSU Athletics has been looking at ways to address this issue for several years now, starting with former AD Bill Moos, Weiler added.

The Board of Regents will meet June 7-8 during their retreat in Woodinville, and the meeting will be open to the public via phone.

About the Writer
IAN SMAY, Evergreen reporter

Ian Smay is a senior journalism & media production major, with an emphasis in broadcast news, from Dayton, Washington. He is also minoring in criminal...

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Regents to address $67 million Athletics deficit in June meeting