PULLMAN, Wash. — Leaders of Washington State University have come up with a plan to eventually eliminate athletics department deficits of approximately $13 million in each of the past two years.
The plan by school President Kirk Schulz and athletic director Bill Moos would see the department posting a surplus by 2020.
The Spokesman-Review reports ( http://bit.ly/2csyFBH ) the fix includes having the school pay some costs typically paid for by the athletic department, and the likely introduction of a student fee.
The athletic department posted shortfalls of approximately $13 million in fiscal years 2014 and 2015.
The plan presented in a letter to the WSU Board of Regents this week anticipates a fiscal year 2017 deficit of $9.7 million, a fiscal year 2018 deficit of $4.9 million and a fiscal year 2019 deficit of $900,000. In fiscal year 2020, the athletic department hopes to achieve a revenue surplus of $300,000.
Future surpluses would be used to pay down the accumulated deficit, according to the plan.
This relies in part on the assumption that basketball ticket sales will increase, as well as increased giving to the Cougar Athletic Fund. Furthermore, the athletic department is relying on revenue from beer sold in Martin Stadium, which it projects to equal about $1 million per year.
The school had hoped to begin selling beer at the start of the current football season, but has yet to receive permission from the state.
The letter notes that expenses have increased thanks to recent Pac-12 or NCAA rule changes.
A proposed student fee would generate between $1.7 million and $1.9 million. Furthermore, the school will pay for use of the president’s box in Martin Stadium, which is used for fundraising purposes, and custodial support for some athletic facilities that are used by general students.
These measures still cost the school money, but do not come out of the athletic department’s budget.
The school would also agree to partially cover the Pac-12 conference dues, pay for the academic support unit, and partially compensate the athletic department for revenue not realized by the creation of the Pac-12 Network.