As the University of New Mexico prepares to cut four sports teams to save money, the Lobos head football coach is sharing his perspective about the role he believes the football team has in the overall athletics budget.
“It’s a tough situation,” said Davie at a Wednesday news conference, speaking of UNM’s planned sports cuts.
Davie’s comments come as the football season nears with mounting pressure on the team’s success as a revenue driver.
“Certainly, we all feel bad of what’s happened,” said Davie.
UNM is aiming to save more than $1 million by cutting men’s soccer, women’s beach volleyball and the men’s and women’s ski teams after their next season.
During the first football pre-season news conference Wednesday, Davie acknowledged the Athletic Department’s plan as “tough” for coaches and players.
“Nobody knows more than another coach of what coaches invest in their program and how much pride you take in it,” said Davie. “Nobody knows more than a player what other players put into it.”
The UNM Athletic Department has said for years that football and basketball season ticket sales are ultimately big pieces of what helps funds other sports.
Tickets have been a hard sell for football though, as fans haven’t always packed the stands.
Davie was asked Wednesday if he “felt guilty” about the cuts.
“Nah, not guilty at all,” said Davie. “I feel bad, I feel extremely bad,” said Davie.
Davie followed his statement about how he felt by saying “football costs the most, but football also brings in the most” money.
Ultimately, the coach ended his comments by acknowledging an understanding of football as a component of athletics revenue.
“I do feel a responsibility to win and put our best product on the field,” said Davie. “If that can help by increasing that one line-item of ticket sales? Absolutely, I feel responsible for that.”
KRQE News 13 reached out to UNM Wednesday to ask how ticket sales are doing for football and basketball heading into each season. The UNM Athletic Department said they should have information in the coming days.