Ok, now that I am back in the office and not banging out this blog on an I-phone, here are some additional thoughts and information to go along with the basics I already posted.
What today’s meeting amounted to was the UNT board of regents and the school’s athletic department coming to an agreement on a budget that should help UNT’s athletic program.
I will have a story in tomorrow’s paper that goes into a little more detail, but the $600,000 in the budget for baseball will cover the costs of hiring a coach and getting the program off the ground. UNT believes baseball will generate revenue down the line that will help to fund the program.
In an interesting side note, UNT regent Don Potts reiterated that the school will have to add a women’s sport to offset the impact of having a baseball program will have on its standing with Title IX.
UNT officials steadfastly believe that the school can be competitive right away in baseball.
UNT athletic director Rick Villarreal will meet with the baseball committee today to discuss the next step in the process. Actually, there are two — building a stadium and hiring a coach. Villarreal would not give a definitive timeline on either front, but I get the feeling that UNT will move quickly, within the next few months, on both a stadium and a coach. Villarreal talked about the importance of having a facility in place so that a coach would know what he will have to work with and having a coach out recruiting and selling the program quickly.
The additional money in the student services section of the budget will ensure that UNT can have its athletes in summer school, which football coach Dan McCarney has maintained all along is important. Villarrreal and UNT president Lane Rawlins talked about the impact having students on campus working with its strength and conditioning staff over the summer has made across the board, especially for its football team.
For those of you who have been around a while, money for summer school was a big point of contention during the Glory Days Bowl Run of the early- to mid-2000s.
The increase in the football budget is partly tied to the move to C-USA. UNT is getting more money from the league, but expenses are higher as well. The extra money in the budget should also help UNT with scheduling.
The UNT regents finance committee approved a budget today that will be another step toward the school adding a baseball program. Here are the highlights:
– The budget will include $600,000 for the start-up costs for baseball.
– The budget will also include an additional $423,353 for student services, which will enable UNT to send athletes to summer school
– The total budget is proposed to jump to $28,354,615, an increase of 11.5 percent.