ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The University of New Mexico Athletics Department is deep in the budget hole, now it’s time to figure out how start digging out.
For the seventh time in the past nine years the athletics department has been in the red. This time it’s $1.5 million short.
Vice President for UNM Athletics, Paul Krebs, explained to the Board of Regents Monday why his department is in the hole. He first pointed to ticket sales, which was about $900,000 below what they had projected. He also pointed out his department needed to do better managing their day-to-day expenses.
UNM President Bob Frank agrees.
“We’ve not managed some of our expenses within programs as tightly as we need to,” Frank said.
But Krebs points out UNM has the most amount of sports programs in the Mountain West Conference and gets the least amount of help.
“You can see that the people we’re competing against are getting much more significant help in either a combination of state and or institutional dollars and I think that we need help,” Krebs said.
KRQE News 13 asked if UNM should look at cutting some of their programs or scholarships.
“Well I think what you heard today from Regent Lee is right now there is not an appetite to eliminate sports and I’m totally on board with that,” Krebs replied.
When questioned about the coaches’ high salaries Krebs says it’s not an area to cut because UNM needs to be competitive.
The university will have to cover the budget shortfall like they’ve done in recent years
Krebs says he’s working to turn things around.
“Coach Davie has put in I think he’s proven in the last four or five years that we’re putting a very competitive team on the field and we need to do a better job in the department of messaging that and getting fans to come out,” he said.
Krebs says he hopes some of the shortfall will be made up by selling alcohol at football games this season. They also want to lobby for equal state funding since New Mexico State receives more than UNM and they are also looking at increasing student fees.
UNM athletics is also hoping to boost revenue next year when Wise Pies will have to pay an additional $500,000 a year for naming rights at the Pit.