Athletics budget approved by WSU Board of Regents

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The Washington State University Board of Regents approved the athletics budget for the 2019 fiscal year and considered strategies to reduce operating deficits Friday at its summer retreat in Woodinville.

Board members voted on a course of action following presentations by athletic director Pat Chun and chief budget officer Joan King. The proposed plan includes the approval of money transfers necessary to cover the current year's athletic deficit.

The suggested strategy is expected to slow the rate of debt accumulation through the next four years, which is expected to peak at $85.1 million by the fiscal year 2022. A large portion of that deficit can be traced back to the institution's decision to construct a $61 million football complex and pursue other facility improvements around the same time period. Revenue from a television deal with the Pac-12 Networks also fell well short of initial projections, adding to the debt.

The Cougar athletic department plans to increase revenue by 27 percent by the fiscal year 2023 - primarily through media-rights fees, improved ticket sales, corporate sponsorships, and donations to the Cougar Athletic Fund. Student fees are also being considered as part of the plan, but the Associated Students of WSU would have to approve a vote on the issue, which would then be decided by the student body.

Should the plan proceed, the Washington State athletic department expects to balance the budget by the fiscal year 2023, while also generating a $200,000 surplus.

WSU announces plans to return spring game to Martin Stadium

PULLMAN - Washington State athletic director Patrick Chun announced Friday that the university plans to return the annual Crimson and Gray spring football game to Martin Stadium, beginning next spring.

In conjunction with the 2019 Crimson and Gray Game, Cougar athletics and WSU student affairs will organize an initiative known as "Gameday for Mental Health," to help provide more information surrounding suicide prevention and mental health awareness.

"The Crimson and Gray Game will give us a platform to do something unique for our campus," said Chun. "Bringing more awareness for suicide prevention and mental health is something very close to our hearts. This day will benefit our students, faculty, staff and greater community."

Added WSU vice president for student affairs, Mary Jo Gonzales, "we are all committed to bringing our Cougar family together to draw attention to the needs of our students, including our student-athletes."

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