According to an official University of North Dakota blog post, the timeline for the Athletic Department to make their $1.3 million budget cuts has been moved back to April. Per David Dodds:
Last month, Athletics was given a budget-savings target of $1.3 million and was asked, with other units on campus, to submit a budget reflecting that goal by Monday, March 6. Kennedy has extended that timeline for Athletics, with a new report period slated for early April.
The extra time gives Athletics the ability to sort out potential new revenue opportunities and ramifications associated with UND’s recently announced transition from the Big Sky Athletic Conference to the Summit League in 2018 in most sports, as well as UND Football’s intended move from the Big Sky to the Missouri Valley Football Conference in 2020.
Apparently, UND President Mark Kennedy thinks that the conference realignments might play into some added savings and could mean less expenses for the UND athletic department. From Tom Miller of the Grand Forks Herald.
“The recent conference realignments will undoubtedly result in added revenues and lower expenses in the future as we unite with closer regional rivals,” Kennedy said. “Nevertheless, it is likely that we regrettably will need to consider again the number of sports we sponsor if we are to support competitive efforts of the remaining teams.”
If UND has to cut any sports programs, those programs in question will not have an opportunity to privately fundraise to save their program much like the UND men’s golf program did last year.
Great Time to Be a Fighting Hawks Fan
While we’re talking about the misery of budget cuts, this a great time to be a Fighting Hawks sports fan. The women’s basketball team just won a share of the Big Sky Conference title last night with their convincing 92-78 win over Sac State.
The men’s basketball team has a great chance at winning a Big Sky Conference title if they can secure a win against the Sac State Hornets. With a win on Thursday night, they will clinch at least a share of a Big Sky Conference title. For those keeping track at home, the Fighting Hawks are 9-1 in the last 10 games.
In the fall, the football team and the women’s volleyball team both won a Big Sky Conference title. Look at all of these accomplishments, this should be a happy time for UND, but it’s not. Instead, we’re discussing which sports programs should be cut. A dark cloud hangs over the UND athletic department. Again, this should be a time for celebration.
If you haven’t done so, I recommend that you listen to the podcast below. Brad E. Schlossman and Tom Miller talk about the possible impending cuts.