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ONLY ON 3: Memo from UNCW chancellor to Board of Trustees regarding sports demonstration

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The following memo was sent by UNCW Chancellor Gary Miller today to the university's Board of Trustees regarding a planned demonstration Wednesday against a proposal to kill five athletic programs. We have requested an interview opportunity with the chancellor but haven't heard back.

Members of the Board:

Tomorrow around noon we expect a group to assemble outside Trask Coliseum to make their voices heard about the IARC’s recommendations to eliminate 5 UNCW sports.

We all know there are deep feelings whenever the discontinuation of any program (athletic or academic) is contemplated. As the committee noted in its statement last week, they felt these recommendations were their only option after exhaustively analyzing the data at hand. They were not in an easy position, nor, I recognize, are you all, as you continue to field questions from the community. Like the committee, I feel deep compassion for those student-athletes and coaches facing the possible elimination of their programs. The reaction has been both expected and appropriate, and I have a great deal of respect for the perspectives being offered both publicly and privately.

I want to reiterate that I appreciate your understanding and support of our process, and most importantly, I welcome your continued input as I further digest the IARC's recommendations. We will not wait for our next meeting in August to discuss this matter; I expect we'll follow up with you very soon to lock down timing. I am in constant contact with our leadership team to carefully examine the report and all relevant data. It is critical that we focus on the long-term future of the university as we consider the important recommendations in this report. We owe that to everyone involved.

Thank you all for your great service to UNCW.

Gary

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Why not Women's Basketball?

Here are the facts:

NCAA financial reports show that the women's basketball team lost operated at a deficit of $813,000 last year.

This deficit is equal to amount purported to be saved by the proposed elimination of 5 sports.

Eliminating women's basketball would impact no more than 14 current athletes. The proposed cuts impact 117 athletes.

There would be no or only minor Title IX-related adjustments incurred by eliminating women's basketball.

Perhaps

Thats a good idea.
But it does NOT close the huge deficits still remaining.
I don't think ANY college without TV revenues can claim they are balancing their budgets.
But in looking at the report, the average loss is 3X its cost (For most sports)

Secondarily isn't women's basketball one of the more popular sports attendance wise?

Vog

I love their passion

And agree that's its nice to have a sports program.
But it has clearly gotten out of hand.
11,000 undergrads, supporting 400 athletes and their sports. The undergrads are socializing the losses incurred by the sports teams.
Boosters and Alumni are outraged that sports are being cut yet no one offers specifics as to money saving ideas. They talk in generalities. No basketball players showed up at the hearings - such arrogance !!!!
Here's a thought for Chancellor Miller. Rather than FORCE an undergrad to support the sports programs through student fees lets make it voluntary.
I will assume some figures here. Lets say the current fee is $1000 per semester with 50% or $500 dollars going towards the sports programs.
Lets give the undergrad students, and their parents the ABILITY to choose.
Save $2000 per year in fees - or support the sports programs.
Which do YOU think the parents/students will choose? I think we all know the answer. 400 will choose sports. The rest will probably choose to save the money. This is the problem - when the money is "asked for" rather than "taken" the true level of support for the sports programs is revealed.
This is why they don't, or won't go this route. They don't want to know what THAT outcome might be - because Administrators, coaches and supporters know it would be bad.
So? Chancellor Miller, "Gary"?
Start from ground zero. Eliminate ALL sports - for now. Immediately put back the most popular sports that STILL allows for compliance with Title IX(?). I would start with 4 sports. Then approach the Boosters and Alumni and say "How many other sports can we support without breaking the bank, we know they'll loose money but lets minimize it as much as possible."
Put the Boosters and alumni on notice that, UNLIKE the students, their contributions are voluntary - BUT - if support is not forthcoming - that the students contributions WILL become voluntary.
It's way too easy to spend other people's money. You are stewards of that money. Treat it as if it were your own.
Vog

FACTS

Hi Vog, If you are going to voice an opinion, at least get your facts correct. This fine newspaper reported just a few months ago that the Board of Governors increased the Athletic budget by 1.2 million dollars by altering the fraction of student fees that went into the athletic budget. This covered the short-fall, that's right it covered the deficit. The proposed new cuts are not to cover a deficit at all; the purpose (as stated in the report very clearly) is to re-purpose these funds into other sports (most likely basketball as it is presented in vague genrealities). If you hate athletics and feel that student fees should be used to support this, your opinion is your own. Student fees contribute about 6-7 million of the total athletic budget (most in fact, only alittle part comes from revenue sports begging the question as to whether a distinct even exists with nonrevenue sports). I note that virtually every university in the country disagree's with your position as well, as athletics is viewed as an important contibution to student life, it is an important education vehicle, and its an important mechanism for maintaining contact with alumni. Otherwise it would be gone from campuses. Don't be so short-sighted.

Ralph

Correct me if I'm wrong:

http://www.uncw.edu/iarc/documents/UNCWIARC_Recommendations.pdf

Introduction Pg two:
"Over the last 4 years the Department of Athletics’ operating
expenses have consistently exceeded revenue. Consequently, since 2009 the Department of Athletics’ reserve fund has experienced an 82% decrease and is no longer a viable funding source. In the current fiscal year, the university anticipates the need to cover a projected $600,000 shortfall. In addition to higher operating costs than anticipated, the Seahawk Club has only raised $460,000 as of May 1, 2013, which represents 44% of the $1,047,000 budgeted target. The UNCW Department of Athletics is facing a fiscal crisis."

They had higher operating costs this year of $600,000 (as of May).
In addition the Seahawks club is short an additional (Gary's words)$587,000
And the reserve is no longer viable as a funding source.
And this is AFTER as you said "This fine newspaper reported just a few months ago that the Board of Governors increased the Athletic budget by 1.2 million dollars by altering the fraction of student fees that went into the athletic budget."
So AFTER fee distribution was increased and after the year is almost through we have STILL a shortfall of $600,000 PLUS a fund raising shortfall of $587,000.
AND as Chacellor Miller said:
"The UNCW Department of Athletics is facing a fiscal crisis."
BUT YOU said they covered the shortfall.
Just who is right here? (according to Chancellor Miller it would appear as though I am)
"I note that virtually every university in the country disagree's with your position as well, as athletics is viewed as an important contribution to student life, it is an important education vehicle, and its an important mechanism for maintaining contact with alumni."
Don't care quite frankly as there is a growing chorus of those questioning the importance of sports and the ROI of sports programs at the collegiate level. You can google it I'm sure but Time Magazine and PBS have investigated this and found these programs to be out of control loss leaders for colleges and universities
Again Ralph - no suggestions from you.

Everyone says just "charge more fees".
Considering who's in charge in Raleigh - is that really such a smart thing to say?
If UNCW eliminated all sports and fees could be reduced for the 11,000 plus undergrads - would they or their parents complain?
Now offer a way to save the programs and STOP Deifying the student athlete. They are NO BETTER than the other students on this campus.

Vog

I am glad they are keeping

I am glad they are keeping the African, Hispanic,LBGQF, and women diversity groups. This will do the kids much better than dumb old sports. They will need to add a fat kid support group though.