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UND will again look at cutting sports programs

UND's athletic programs are back on the chopping block, according to a joint statement Tuesday from UND President Mark Kennedy and his Executive Council.

UND President Mark Kennedy is interviewed Tuesday in his Twamley Hall office. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald
UND President Mark Kennedy is interviewed in his Twamley Hall office. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

UND's athletic programs are back on the chopping block, according to a joint statement Tuesday from UND President Mark Kennedy and his Executive Council.

"It is likely that we regrettably will need to consider again the number of sports we sponsor if we are to support competitive efforts of the remaining teams," the statement said.

According to the statement, UND athletics will be given a target budget savings goal on Feb. 10 and will be asked to submit a budget reflecting those goals by March 15.

Last April, UND cut baseball and men's golf and has since reinstated men's golf dependant on external funding.

This fall, Kennedy asked the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee to review sports sponsorship and consider conference affiliation.

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In October, the IAC elected to keep all 20 UND sports and Kennedy accepted that recommendation.

At that time, Kennedy said: "I have made it clear this is a once-in-a-Kennedy-tenure opportunity to review sports sponsorship. It's a closed conversation as far as I'm concerned."

During the IAC's process, eight teams-men's and women's tennis, men's and women's swimming and diving, men's and women's golf, women's soccer and softball-were asked to present to the committee to defend their programs.

According to UND's Tuesday statement, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum has proposed to decrease UND's state funding by 20 percent.

The statement also says that in addition to the $16 million that will need to be cut to accommodate the cut in state funding and tuition revenue, UND will also look to provide an estimated $7 million for investments in strategic priorities.

This combination will require a 14 percent reduction in appropriated budget levels, according to the statement.

"This is not an effort we chose to undertake," the statement said. "It is one that outside forces necessitate us to commence. In its history, UND has faced many other foundation-shaking conditions and gone on to not only survive, but also thrive. That must be our goal."

Related Topics: UND SPORTS
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