UNM Athletics sees large financial shortfall

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – After finally getting back on their feet, the University of New Mexico Athletics Department is now facing a big budget shortfall. Like every college, UNM will not be getting all the money they were expecting form the NCAA and it gets worse. There have been around $3 million in losses.

Athletic Director Eddie Nuñez says while it’s too early to predict exactly how much the pandemic will cost UNM Athletics, he does say that UNM will “Come up with scenarios on where we will be today, where we will be in the Summer, where we will be in the Fall, what challenges may exist if sports don’t come back in the fall or pushed back or delayed. A lot of factors right now on the table,” says Nuñez.

The athletics budget ranges from 32 to $34 million each year. Nuñez says they made budget the past two years, but now they’re in a bind. The NCAA lost millions after the cancellation of March Madness which means it has a fraction of the money to divvy out to schools. Nuñez says they’re expecting a large hit, a $1.2 million reduction in NCAA funding.

UNM Athletics counts on revenue from ticket, concessions, ad parking sales form big events like state basketball, PBR, United and Isotopes games. Nuñez says they’ll take another at least $1 million loss since those events were canceled.

Nuñez says they’ll be looking everywhere to make up the shortfall. “Everything that can be considered will be considered, we are going to look at every opportunity with respect to fundraising, coaching salaries, everything,” Nuñez says.

The NCAA is letting seniors who play Spring sports, return next year, but Nuñez says UNM doesn’t have the money to fund those scholarships. UNM Baseball Coach Ray Birmingham said this week he told his seniors he paid for them to get their degrees, and if they want to come back they would have to pay for it.

Nuñez says many Spring sports seniors have already landed jobs and do not plan on returning. But coaches are still meeting with seniors to find out how many want to return.

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