Late Tuesday afternoon, an email was sent out to the Eastern Michigan University community from Interim President Donald Loppnow and all members of the Board of Regents addressing the rumors that have been buzzing the past several days in regards to eliminating football or dropping down to a lower division of the NCAA and dropping out of the Mid-American Conference.
In this email, the EMU community was assured that Loppnow and the regents are “pleased to be a member of an outstanding conference,” and any claims of these rumors are false.
The email later goes on to say, “We are 100 percent supportive of our current Alethic administration…”
Lack of fundraising concerns were also addressed, stating that year-to-date fundraising has increased by almost $430,000.
Full support seems to be given to Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics Heather Lyke, giving credit to her for hiring an “outstanding” football coach, Chris Creighton, showing high hopes in his recruits in on the field and academic performance.
Talk that EMU should spend less money on football and athletics in general has always been a hot topic, but these rumors spread rapid after last Friday’s Board of Regents meeting. Howard Bunsis, Treasurer of the AAUP, attracted much attention by stating during the meeting, “It’s (football) is a losing proposition – always has been, and always will be.”
Media outlets such as the Detroit Free Press and CBS Sports have helped to illuminate these rumors. In addition, last week HBO’s Real Sports featured Eastern in a segment on athletic departments “arms race,” giving the situation national attention.
According to the Detroit Free Press, in the past ten years alethic spending has increased by about $13 million, $20 million in 2005 to $33 million in 2015, with revenue declining.
Lastly, the email concludes with, “We will remain proud members of the Mid-American Conference football family for a long, long time.”