North Texas president Lane Rawlins made a pair of presentations to the school’s board of regents about the importance of college athletics and made the case that the school should increase funding to its athletics department this week.
Our higher education reporter Jenna Duncan covered what went on at the meetings. We should have a full copy of the presentation sometime next week.
Until then, here are the basic parameters of what was said.
Rawlins, who has helped facilitate the progress the UNT’s athletic department has made throughout his tenure, on Thursday made an initial presentation to the school’s regents about the importance of athletics to a university that included a comparison of what UNT is spending on athletics as compared to its peers in Conference USA based on the USA Today study of college athletic budgets.
Those figures were a key part of the three-part series I wrote over the summer on the state of UNT athletics as the school prepares for the 100thanniversary of its football program this fall.
He came on Friday with additional data from Conference USA after contacting league officials Thursday night.
Rawlins noted that the UNT athletic department will receive $2.8 million less than it requested in the next fiscal year under the school’s new budget that was under consideration.
An amendment was added to the budget to form a committee to explore an increase in funding for athletics. The amendment passed 6-3 and was then added to the budget, which passed unanimously.
UNT’s budget for athletics has increased 61 percent in Rawlins’ tenure, due to a number of factors, including the fundraising efforts of the Rick Villarreal and the UNT athletic department in and the addition of a dedicated student athletic fee.
We should have more on the story in the next few days.