How did UNM get here? 4 Investigates delves into budget crisis
July 20, 2018 11:01 AM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – UNM leaders faced the unpopular task of cutting four sports programs Thursday, amid a multi-million dollar budget shortfall.
But many people are wondering why men's and women's skiing, men's soccer and beach volleyball were chosen as the sports to get the axe.
Under former Vice President of Athletics Paul Krebs, the department missed projected revenues, didn't balance budgets year after year, and saw sharp declines in game attendance, ticket sales, and concession sales.
A recent Title IX report also found that the UNM athletics department was essentially breaking federal gender equality laws.
It noted that UNM forced the women's beach volleyball team to practice at a bar attached to a bowling alley in Albuquerque's north valley.
Title IX requires that UNM build a facility for the team because men are not forced to practice their sports at a bar. So even though UNM only saves about $9,000 by cutting women's beach volleyball, it gets out of having to build a $342,000 facility for them to practice in.
Cutting soccer saves UNM $605,000 each year.
While UNM soccer is fairly popular, cutting the men's team doesn't affect UNM’s athletic conference status because having soccer is not a requirement to be part of the Mountain West. In fact, UNM is one of only two Mountain West schools with a soccer team.
Many people on KOB’s Facebook page asked why football wasn’t cut.
One answer: UNM would risk losing its membership in the Mountain West Conference.
“One of the stipulations of the Mountain West is to have indoor volleyball, men and women's basketball and football,” said UNM Athletic Director Eddie Nunez.
Some New Mexico lawmakers have stated they could help UNM's athletic budget in the next legislative session. But Nunez says that would be a one-time fix. He says the department needs a permanent structural overhaul.
Updated: July 20, 2018 11:01 AM
Created: July 19, 2018 07:22 PM
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