Pay as you go.

For once, I welcome our new legislative overlords.

With the athletic departments of Washington’s two biggest public colleges reporting budget deficits two years in a row, state Sen. Michael Baumgartner (R-Spokane) is proposing a bill that will subject college athletics budgets to legislature approval if their athletic departments run deficits for three consecutive years.

Washington State’s athletics department has reported deficits of about $13 million in each of the last two fiscal years, while UW’s athletics department projected a deficit of about $15 million for the 2016 fiscal year, but that figure was later updated to about a $7 or $8 million deficit. Last year, new WSU President Kirk Schulz also proposed a plan that he believes will get WSU’s athletic department solvent by 2019.

Under the new bill Baumgartner is proposing, if a college athletic department cannot get back in the black after three consecutive years, its budget will have to be reviewed and approved by the Commerce, Labor and Sports committee before it can be adopted by the college.

‘Bout damned time.

“I’m a big fan of college athletics, but I have no doubt much of the public would appreciate a timeout on the arms race of college athletics spending,” Baumgartner said in the news release. “This is about ensuring the long-term viability of these programs that give our state’s students so many opportunities. This bill gives our state’s universities a three-year runway from today to get their budgets balanced, and if they can’t do it, my committee will help do it for them.”

Help us to help you!

Of course, the hard part comes in deciphering a college athletics department’s budget.

“The overriding goal is to bring transparency and public oversight to the use of public resources,” Baumgartner said in a phone interview with The Seattle Times. “I think sports is an important part of the university experience, but within balance and reason. More than determining the outcome, I want to make sure public dollars are protected.”

If this bill passes, what do you want to bet those deficits come down faster than planned?


Filed under It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery

25 responses to “Pay as you go.

  1. W Cobb Dawg

    can an athletic dept. declare bankruptcy? Just asking.


    • I would assume the UGAAA can since it’s a separate entity with no state funding.


      • Comin' Down The Track

        Back in the early 90s, I worked a part time job with a person who also worked within the UGA Student Associaction. He said that the Athletic Department did, in fact, participate in UGA budget proposals for state funding although it was a minuscule amount compared to what the department raised on its own as a separate business, as you pointed out, but certainly comparable to the amounts requested by other university entities. Of course, in the twenty-odd years since, that could have changed, I could be wrong and this comment could be moot. I did always find it a bit troubling though.


    • HVL Dawg

      Cal’s creditors don’t think so.


    • doofusdawg

      can they sell bonds…


  2. DoubleDawg1318

    I welcome this development. And while they’re at it, can they go ahead and get rid of student athletic fees?


  3. Billy Mumphrey

    Isn’t the state of Washington running a $4 billion deficit this year? What’s for me is not for thee.


  4. AusDawg85

    At a Georgia House hearing coming soon…

    Now Mr. McGarity…can you please explain to the committee on sports spending oversight what this item for “personal protection” in the amount of $72.32 was for?

    Yes sir. We invited a well known singer to provide entertainment at our Spring Game and he requested this expenditure in the contract.

    Mr. McGarity, do you mean to tell me private security was only $72.32? You show a different expenditure and much higher amount for policing.

    Condoms, sir. Condoms.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. mg4life0331

    Because government is awesome at budgets and adhering to them.


  6. Russ

    Auburn has some accountants they may want to talk to. Apparently Auburn has lost money while playing for the MNC and they also say it costs twice as much as the other SEC schools for athletes to attend.


  7. State legislatures in the South – “Well, that’s just plain silly, Washington. Bless your heart.”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. My name is Apathy

    A better option is to remove funding for the school. Handing over a budget to a government agency has rarely resulted in fat trimming. Expect some unintended consequences from this one.


    • Bulldog Joe

      Like some schools becoming subsidiaries of their athletic associations? 😉


    • Gaskilldawg

      You just got put on student loan lenders’ Christmas list. Their dream world is for almost every student having to borrow 100% of the cost of education!


  9. 92 grad

    again, the millions from tv, which didn’t exist a short time ago, show up and all you have to do is do what you did before the tv money showed up. Am I missing something?


  10. Interesting. I will have to look up and see how many Div. 1 schools actually make money. I know years ago UW athletics used to float money in some weird ways, until the local paper pointed it out. Sure they just found another way.


  11. Governor Milledge

    The State of Georgia would have a heyday with this – imagine the fun the Legislature would have in gutting Tech’s athletic program further…


  12. PTC DAWG

    More Govt, that should help.


  13. Russ

    So ESPN is just trolling us now. We’ve got Beth Mowins for the Georgia-Florida b-ball game on ESPN2 right now.