Students, taxpayers help fund UNM sports
August 18, 2018 07:31 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - University of New Mexico regents voted to cut several sports on Friday including men’s soccer, women’s beach volleyball and both ski teams.
Administrators said the cuts were needed to save money and become Title IX compliant.
Some argued their reasoning and suggested other places to save money, but, eventually, regents voted unanimously to cut the four programs.
Originally, the diving portion of the swim team was slated to get cut but one the regents made a motion to take the five divers and their coach off of the chopping block.
Student regent Garrett Adcock made the motion to keep the team and said, "It means a lot because I understand what that opportunity is to compete at the division I level, for your school, for your state."
During the meeting, state Rep. Patricia A. Lundstrom, asked regents to hold off on their decision until lawmakers had a chance to weigh-in. However, she was cut off after three minutes of public comment.
Lundstrom told KOB, "And I can tell you I've never been treated more rudely. In mid-sentence to get cut off tells me they really don't want a solution and they're not interested in working with the legislature."
According to documents obtained by KOB, UNM athletics receives millions of dollars from taxpayers and students.
Between 2013 and 2017, UNM sports received $13.2 million in government support, $16.7 million from the university and $19 million from student fees.
UNM President Garnett Stokes did not want to speak on camera after the decision but during the meeting said the school would focus more on sports that helped generate revenue.
According to the reports filed with the NCAA, UNM’s men’s basketball team has had the most success in recent history when it comes to selling tickets.
Between 2013 and 2017, the men’s basketball team made $22.5 million in tickets, followed by football ($7.5 million), women’s basketball ($1.8 million, men’s soccer ($216,000) and baseball ($143,000).
When asked about the cuts, the school’s athletic director, Eddie Nuñez, called Friday’s meeting “bittersweet” and said, "We have to move forward. I have to support our soccer programs, both men and women. I have to support our beach volleyball this year, our skiers and every one of our football players and basketball team – ever team. I'm excited to move forward because we have to do that as a department but I'm also a little sad about the situation."
Updated: August 18, 2018 07:31 PM
Created: August 18, 2018 07:09 PM
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