Scott Scarborough, President of the University of Akron explains that he knew what he was walking into, even though he didn’t have the specifics of a $60 Million issue, but that there was financial stresses that was made clear. He goes through some of the decisions that have been made and what some of the alternative idea were to cut money without cutting programs or jobs.
Scott explains that they looked to save the baseball program, but there simply wasn’t a way to do so without compromising other athletic programs. He tells us that very few athletic programs make money at the collegiate level and the real goal is educational and marketing through the sports teams.
The question for Ken is why a sport as big as football deserves so much money when it appears that it doesn’t see that investment returned. President Scarborough explains how a majority of the population won’t view a school as legitimate without a football program. He says the focus now is football, basketball, and the soccer program and maintaining the level of competition they are at and improving upon that.
Scott Scarborough admits that the school is being run like a business that has an educational purpose. He recounts the NCAA requirements and the MAC requirements for athletics and how they were limited in the decisions they could make if they wanted to remain a member. He lists what the priorities were when looking at how they can cut costs and decrease the deficit. While he isn’t happy with what the school was forced to do, he does say it was the right decision to make.
President Scarborough says a good portion of the bad publicity was by design and they hope it will be past when the school year begins. He says there are no future reduction plans and they feel confident that with the $40 Million decrease in spending they can close the deficit relatively quickly. He describes the importance of making good decisions in the future so they don’t find themselves in a hole like this again.