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WSU to weigh recovery plan for athletics budget at upcoming Board of Regents meeting

UPDATED: Fri., April 30, 2021

WSU quarterback Jarrett Guarantano smiles between plays during a spring college football practice on Thursday, April 8, 2021, on WSU's practice field in Pullman, Wash.  (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
WSU quarterback Jarrett Guarantano smiles between plays during a spring college football practice on Thursday, April 8, 2021, on WSU's practice field in Pullman, Wash. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Washington State University’s Board of Regents will meet next week to review a plan to balance the athletics department’s operating budget by 2023, the university announced Friday.

The plan, university officials said, calls for the issuance of $35.6 million in general university bonds to help cover revenue losses from the COVID-19 pandemic. The bonds would be repaid with future Pac-12 Conference media and bowl revenue distributions, according to WSU.

In addition, approximately $11 million in savings from the fall 2020 refinancing of existing debt would help cover potential pandemic-related losses in the upcoming fiscal year. Further, WSU would restore the university’s commitment to pay $2.4 million in annual Pac-12 affiliation fees starting in fiscal year 2023.

WSU officials said no new student fees have been proposed as part of the plan.

“Prior to the pandemic, we were on course to achieve our budget recovery plan of a balanced budget by FY2023. This new budget proposal puts us back on that path,” Athletic Director Pat Chun said in a statement.

The Board of Regents meeting is scheduled for May 6-7. Plan details can be found on the board’s website.

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