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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Cougars’ athletic department will aid in academic costs

PULLMAN – Faced with a $40 million budget cut in the biennium that ends with the 2013 fiscal year, Washington State University president Elson Floyd is looking for help wherever he can find it. And he will get some from his athletic department. When the Pac-12’s expanded media deal kicks in next school year, the department will assume academic service costs previously covered by the administration. “It’s in an excess of a half-million dollars,” athletic director Bill Moos said. The university covers the service costs – tutoring, counseling and other similar expenses – for each student. Starting next year, the athletic department will pick up that cost for each athlete. The school administration will still cover some athletic department costs, which include athletic employee benefits, some fee waivers in regards to gender equity and the compliance budget. The athletic department expects to operate in the red for a third consecutive year when final figures are in for the 2010-11 fiscal year. “We have some reserves that allow it to look not as dismal as it might seem,” Moos said of last year. “And we have what I feel is a good solid plan for getting ourselves back solvent in the next 24 months.” Still, this fiscal year will be tight. That’s because the new Pac-12 media contract doesn’t begin until the 2012 school year. It should net WSU around $15 million the first year. The average is expected to be near $21 million over the 12-year contract. Last year, WSU realized about $2.7 million in media money. “We’re going to have to tighten our belts for this coming year to make sure we’re in a prime position for when we do see that television money, that we invest it properly in areas that will help us grow,” Moos said.