Ohio State University’s Department of Athletics announced major budget cuts on Wednesday to mitigate a projected $107 million deficit, just a week after the Big Ten Conference announced a return to college football.
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The university announced a $180 million budget that will maintain the 36-sport program and continue to allow a fully funded grant-in-aid program, support services and resources for student-athletes, the department said in a press release.
“Our student-athletes are our primary responsibility,” Director of Athletics Gene Smith said in a statement. “They have and will continue to come first. We have put together a responsible and conservative budget for this fiscal year, which assumes full support for our student-athletes. In the midst of this devastating pandemic, we remain committed to providing a safe and excellent academic and athletic experience for all of our student-athletes.”
Some of the major cuts from the budget include $6.1 million from sports’ operating budgets, $4 million on administration and support unit operating budgets, $3.4 million in football game-day expenses, $3 million in non-conference game guarantees and $3 million in facility operations.
The school will also save $7 million in furloughs and salary cuts and reductions.
“Like our colleagues in the Big Ten, and across the country, intercollegiate athletics at Ohio State will have to significantly adjust as the pandemic will have a long-term impact,” Smith said.
“We will implement a long-term deficit recovery plan but will continue to focus on serving our student-athletes at the highest level.”
Big Ten announced last week that it would resume the football season beginning on Oct. 23, weeks after announcing the postponement of all fall sports.