The University of Connecticut’s student government passed a motion that will place a cap on the amount of subsidy dollars the school’s athletic department gets from the university budget.
According to The Daily Campus, the motion caps the subsidy for fiscal year 2021 at $41 million.
Many athletic departments are subsidized in part from general dollars, but the University of Connecticut’s $42.3 million deficit makes its situation more stark.
The Daily Campus reports that the deficit seems to be the result of two distinct causes: increased tuition costs and declining conference and media licensing revenue. In a statement, the university suggested that higher tuition costs mean higher scholarship costs.
“It is worth noting that a large portion of this deficit in recent years ($17.7 MM in FY 19) has been associated with student scholarships, including a $790,000 increase in scholarship cost in the past year,” the university said in a statement.
The Huskies are also in the midst of conference realignment, which will require additional expenses. As a penalty for leaving the American Athletic Conference, UConn will pay out a $17 million exit fee over several years. Meanwhile, the Big East Conference, which the Huskies are joining, will require a $3.5 million entrance fee.
“As we have said in the past, the Division of Athletics is continually working to identify savings, drive up revenue and address other factors within its control to help close this gap,” the statement read.
In addition to capping the subsidy, the motion by the student government requests that the athletic department present a plan to reduce its subsidy by at least $15 million within the next 10 years.