St. Cloud's latest options for sports cuts

football

anneh632 via Flickr

Still not lookin’ great for St. Cloud State football

Saint Cloud State President Earl H. Potter III, who has considered cutting a number of sports — including football — from the university’s budget, has presented three financial scenarios he’ll consider as a way to fill a projected $500,000 budget gap.

The full memo is below, but here is a quick list of what he considers options for Fiscal Year 2012. A decision should come by Dec. 6.

  • Don’t eliminate any sports and rely on a combination of increased fundraising, athletic administration cuts and increased support from students.
  • Eliminate football and raise enough funds through the other sources.
  • Eliminate 4 sports (men’s golf, swimming/diving and tennis; and women’s Nordic ski).

From: President of SCSU

Sent: Tuesday, September 21, 2010 3:19 PM

To: FacultyStaffAll; Student Gov. Assn. – President; Student Government

Subject: Athletics

To the campus community:

Yesterday the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference created a task force to study its list of required sports.  Thus, we left the Monday meeting without an answer about competing in the conference without one of its required sports.  Despite no answer, we must continue our study of athletics that coincides with efforts currently underway through the Strategic Program Appraisal and the Academic Support, Administrative and Operating Program and Service Appraisal.

The conference task force recognizes that St. Cloud State has decisions to make and will work with all possible speed knowing that we have deadlines looming.

As the task force does its work, St. Cloud State will embark on an immediate campus- and community-wide conversation about the future of intercollegiate athletics here.  The goal of this conversation is to achieve long-term financial stability of St. Cloud State’s Athletic Department.

The framework for these conversations will consider some key elements and the results must ensure our commitment to the academic success of our student athletes; provide an environment and a portfolio of athletic programs where our student athletes can successfully and safely compete; maintain gender equity and compliance with Title IX requirements; impact, to the extent possible, the smallest number of student athletes; and achieve alignment between St. Cloud State’s strategic priorities and those of SCSU Athletics.

Below, are outlined the potential scenarios from which we can now consider in our decision making.  In the development of these scenarios, I asked that both high and low revenue estimates be made.  In summary, here are the options listed for FY 12:

  • Don’t eliminate any sports and rely on a combination of increased fundraising, athletic administration cuts and increased support from students to balance the budget and provide reinvestment opportunities.  Planning is underway in all three of these areas.
  • Eliminate football and raise enough funds through the other sources listed above to balance a projected $550,000 deficit for FY 12.  Under this scenario, we need to yet determine the financial implications of the potential of St. Cloud State leaving the conference should it reaffirm that football is a required sport for conference membership and our eventual decision is to eliminate football.
  • Eliminate 4 sports (men’s golf, swimming/diving and tennis; and women’s Nordic ski).

With a low-revenue estimate, a budget deficit would remain.

  • Eliminate 4 sports (men’s golf, swimming/diving and tennis; and women’s Nordic ski).  With a high revenue estimate, enough funds could be generated to balance the budget and create opportunities for reinvestment.

Documents which detail the information above are available at www.stcloudstate.edu/adminaffairs/budget/default.asp under the names Athletic Financial Summary FY10-FY13; Sport Reduction Detail FY12, FY13; Sport Reduction Scenarios FY12, FY13.

The tentative schedule to complete this analysis concludes with decisions being made by December 6.  In the meantime, there will be open forums for all stakeholders including coaches, students, alumni, faculty and staff and the community.  We are seeking broad input into the process of achieving financial sustainability of St. Cloud State’s Athletic Department.

As we have said from the beginning of this assessment and self-study process across the campus, these are difficult times.  Your input is sought and your participation in the conversation is valued.

Earl H. Potter III

President

St. Cloud State University