Regents to host athletics forum

Liz Kohman

Community members worried about the University athletics departments’ financial problems can express their concerns before the Board of Regents next week.

Members of the public are invited to voice their opinions concerning the intercollegiate athletics departments’ financial problems during two public forums scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Jan. 28 and 4:30 p.m. Jan. 29.

“People need the chance to express viewpoints,” said Regent David Metzen, who will chair the Regents Ad Hoc Committee on Athletics. “We’re going to stay away from solutions.”

A report presented during last month’s Regents meeting said the University’s intercollegiate athletics departments expect a $31 million deficit during the next five years. The University expects to subsidize the departments approximately $10 million per year.

“The financial situation is no longer sustainable,” said Tonya Moten Brown, vice president and chief of staff for University intercollegiate athletics to Regents during the meeting. “All options are going to be on the table.”

The Regents said they plan to seek solutions for the athletics departments’ financial predicament after they have gathered more information about the problem and listened to public reaction.

Regent Chairwoman Maureen Reed said the process might take three to four months.

Regent Lakeesha Ransom and Regent Jean Keffeler will serve on the committee.

Community members interested in speaking before the committee need to contact the Board of Regents office at (612) 625-6300 before 12 p.m. on Jan. 24.