The Eastern Echo received a copy of a 2014 and 2015 athletic budget from an anonymous source inside the Eastern Michigan University Student Government.
The budget comes from a commission started by Student Government President Steven Cole. The commission is comprised of faculty, union, and students.
The release of the budget comes with interesting timing, following an HBO special about EMU athletics and a day before the Board of Regents meeting.
"College athletics plays a unique and important role at schools across the nation, but all the data demonstrate Eastern spends too much. Whether we compare trends in staff hiring, financial assistance via scholarships, or academic support services aimed at promoting student achievement in the classroom, it is clear that athletics is afforded a standard not available to any other student -- period.," Cole said in an email.
The budget spells out various expenses throughout 2014 and 2015 but the key piece of information is the bottom compilation of the expenses. Before university aid in 2014 athletics was in debt $25,083,708 however after university aid the balance was $0. The same trend happens in 2015 with a debt of $27,309,989 and after university aid the athletic department made $1.
"Even worse, the current practices are made possible only by the use of student tuition and fees to subsidize athletics. As state aid decreases and the university is forced to make tough choices, we must act now to change our path. If nothing changes, students will continue to bear additional financial burden to support athletics," Cole said.
The Board of Regents have an athletics meeting tomorrow Friday, April 22 at 9 a.m. in room 201 in Welch Hall where the athletic department budget is scheduled to be discussed.
The budget for the university including a wide range of departments will be discussed throughout the day friday with the regular board meeting scheduled for 1 p.m. in 201 Welch hall.
"With support from the Board of Regents, I have asked the leadership team from all areas of the University to recommend actions that can be made to reduce expenses, especially as we prepare our budget for the upcoming fiscal year," Interim President Don Loppnow said in an email. "This includes every division – including the President’s Office, Business and Finance, Academic and Student Affairs, Advancement, Athletics, Communications, Human Resources, and Operations and Facilities. All areas will likely be impacted."
All meetings are open to the public, students, faculty and staff are encouraged to attend all meetings. A schedule can be found on the EMU Board of Regents page.