USU Eastern has the lowest athletic budget in SWAC

Almost $3 million less than CSI
Posted Wednesday, February 3, 2016 - 9:14pm

University’s profit off student enrollment funds and invest it into athletic departments. The return is double-tapped back to the university’s budget. When programs with institution budgets of $180 million, they understand student enrollment, athlete publicity and expectancy are the dynamics behind those statistics.

In the Scenic Western Athletic Conference, Utah State University Eastern sits at the bottom of the list with a total budget of $700,417 and athletic aid of $237,691; with every other school sitting seven figures in total budget. College of Southern Idaho’s budget is $3,662,278 and is the only school to stand with seven figures in athlete aid at $1,332,243.

That means CSI’s athletic budget is almost $3 million over Eastern’s and $1.1 million over aid to athletes. Salt Lake Community College’s budget is $2.2 million with $660,272 in athletic aid, Snow’s budget is $1.9 million with $606,137 in student aid, while Colorado Northwestern Community College’s budget is $1.3 million with $337,499 in student aid.

Budget is determined by enrollment, amount of sports and outside contributions. To compete with SLCC, CSI, Snow and North Idaho College is defugalty because student enrollment numbers is greater.

We have been able to compete at a high level in the D-1 National Junior College Athletic Association for all these years with our current budget, which has risen over the years due to the addition of our soccer program, said Dave Paur. We manage to be successful through teamwork between coaches and the financial aid department, to conjure athletic packages for our athletes and supply them with the necessary accessories. Our coaching staff is willing to deduct from their personal financial accounts for recruiting and other team necessities. Our baseball program athletes pay for all their accessories and fund raise the majority of its budget.

The SWAC conference has come together recently to establish ways to manage budgets and conclusion of these conferences were scarce, no verdict was reached. However, CSI, on their own, purged two scholarships per sport, NIC will be in a new conference at the start of fall 2016. Other plans already in affect include USUE coaches driving teams to every game by a mini bus, in order to save travel money.

Many thought Eastern’s budget to be higher since it is affiliated with USU; however, we are associated with them academically. Unfortunately, athletically we can have no attachment to USU-Logan due to NCAA regulations and restrictions as there are two-separate programs, Paur said.

As Eastern sits at the bottom of the budget list, it is ascending as softball is added to the USUE family fall 2016. We are not the wealthiest school or an institution that can throw high volumes of full-ride scholarships to our athletes, Paur said. Unfortunately, we sit at roughly 1,500 students and until that number increases, our budget will not ascend drastically. However, we recruit well and get athletes that love sports and education. They are determined to represent the name on the front of their jerseys, while making their name known.

We may never be at the top of the budget list, however, we’ll always compete with the best no matter who it is. And Eastern’s programs begin to introduce themselves to the world, the awareness of Eastern’s school existence will increase and enrollment will ascend, with additional sports added.

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