WCU Athletics Faces Budget Cuts

Along with many other departments on the campus of Western Carolina University, the athletic department is having to reduce its expenses for the upcoming seasons of play.

Similar budget cuts have been seen across the Southern Conference as athletic directors made changes in conference policies. These changes include reducing the number of teams in some sports that qualify for championships, hosting championships on home sites of participating teams, and ending or reducing the number of meetings required for coaches and athletic staff.

The WCU athletic department has taken several steps to reduce expenses.

Early in the spring semester, travel limitations were established for teams, with stipulations on length of trips for competitions and overnight stays for teams. Expenditures have been limited in several areas, and the operating budgets were reduced by 5%. Funds available for athletic scholarships have been limited as well.

“We will continue to look for ways to cut costs and will extend these and other measures as necessary,” said Chip Smith, WCU Director of Athletics.

While these actions were taken early in 2009, there were some contracts and commitments for competitions and scholarships that had already been made, so the full effect of these changes made not be seen until spring, 2010 and the next year.