12,000 undergraduate students pay fees.
283 are going to be in the recommended sports program portfolio.
A few hundred students/faculty/alumni protested yesterday.
100% of the student population support, in a mandatory fashion(through fee charges), a non-educational program for 2% of the student body.
I know college sports lose money and that UNCW has no TV rights or revenues.
I also know that we have a championship caliber swim team.
Potentially a championship caliber baseball team and so on.
This sucks, it really does - and it's obvious that if we cut some sports the alumni that used to play those particular sports will be upset. They say in a nutshell "cut any sport but mine."
Then offer no, or very few, alternatives or money saving ideas.
I also understand that some students came to UNCW because of a particular sport or scholarship program.
But we all need to remember that sports cost, and cost big. The main costs are coaches salaries and travel.
The ULTIMATE money saving idea is this:
Immediately suspend all sports, but:
A - allow the transfer of the student and scholarship monies to any other UNC school that has that sport in it.
B - if there is no other UNC system school with a comparable sport then allow that student to remain at UNCW and PAY the scholarship as if that student were still playing that sport.
This is not a satisfactory answer to the problem, and I know it - but it is the only fair solution. It allows for the continuation of the education (which is the primary goal of the University) and allows for the immediate savings of coaching salaries and travel. Costs for scholarships would decline rapidly over the next 4 years.
This of course would need approval of the UNC Board of Governors, and the Legislature as it would involve moving state monies around the already approved University budgets.
But I will tell you this. THIS Legislature, and THIS Governor would see the enormity of the potential money savings and would probably pour money into the academic endeavors of UNCW and all other colleges that they could apply this to. I suspect they would look hard at UNC Pembroke, Asheville, Central and a couple of others for sports programs elimination.
Right or wrong - it could happen, and it will happen UNLESS the sniping and and fist slamming stops by the boosters and alumni and they come together with a means, and suggestions, to reduce the costs, increase the revenues and eliminate the numbers and variety of sports here.
So far, at least on this forum, it has not happened. They are hoping, somehow, that Gary can save ALL sports (especially their own favorite sports). No one is making the hard decisions.
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