Thursday, April 15, 2010

Finding New Funding Critical for Mid-Major Athletic Programs

Mid-Major athletic programs are finding it increasingly difficult to fund their programs due to lack of state monies. And these schools are being forced to ween themselves off this type of funding.

Here in Iowa, the state legislature has basically told the University of Northern Iowa to become more self-supporting. Northern Iowa takes the most athletic money from the general fund of the state's three public universities.

Last year, Northern Iowa dropped its baseball program because of budget problems. There were also cries that the Panthers should consider dropping football too or at least play a non-scholarship brand. This about a program that is a consistent playoff team in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (former Division 1-AA).

The problem with the football program is it loses money.

But according to a study discussed in The Des Moines Register, findings suggest no real financial change if the football program switched status.

By the way, the men's basketball team is the only program that makes money at Northern Iowa. The Panthers improved their standing with a Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA tournament this season.

So Northern Iowa, like many other programs in the country, will need to raise large sums of private money to keep athletic departments and sports afloat. The days of just showing up and requesting public money are history.

It's a new day for many in college athletics without the fun and games.

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