The Washington State University Regents heard the administration’s financial recovery plan for athletics during committee meetings Thursday.
WSU wants to cover the department’s pandemic-caused debt with external financing by selling 36 million dollars in bonds. That debt would be repaid by Cougar Athletics over 20 years. The plan for the pandemic debt also includes using 11 million dollars in university cash from savings from an October refunding of existing debt. WSU Regent Marty Dickinson notes that the plan avoids using federal government coronavirus relief money to bailout athletics. You can listen to Dickinson’s comment by clicking on the audio file below.
The department’s annual budget shortfalls are still expected to end in fiscal year 2023. Cougar Athletics cumulative debt from its annual deficits, excluding the pandemic shortfall, is then expected to top out at about 89 million dollars. A plan will be formalized requiring athletics to begin paying back its total cumulative debt after fiscal year 2023. The long-term financial recovery plan calls for WSU to restart a subsidy for athletics. The institution will once again pay for the department’s annual PAC-12 fees which cost 2.4 million dollars a year. WSU President Kirk Schulz told the regents that current leadership in athletics under AD Pat Chun is key to making the recovery plan work. You can listen to Schulz’s comment by clicking on the audio file below.
The WSU Regents are set to vote on the athletics financial recovery plan Friday.