Auburn AD Defends Decision To Cut Department Budget By 10%
Auburn AD Allen Greene recently took the "unusual step of cutting all program budgets" by 10%, which is believed to be the "first time Auburn has taken such a drastic step as a department," according to Jay Tate of RIVALS.com. The budget cut is "sure to elicit concern throughout the Auburn sphere." Greene in a statement said, "We are reallocating our budgets and making priority investments to build on our future." Tate noted Auburn has been "quite successful on the field during the past six months," as men's basketball made the Final Four, baseball made the College World Series, equestrian won a national title, women's golf advanced to match play at nationals, men's golf qualified for nationals and gymnastics qualified for its first-ever Sweet Sixteen. Winning "can be costly," though. The NCAA "reimbursed Auburn for travel to the Final Four, but that trip still went over budget by $500,000." Meanwhile, Greene "doesn't see" his 10% edict as a "budget cut per se." Rather it is "more of a philosophical pivot," one that "asks coaches to think more deeply about where their money goes." Greene believes this scale-back will "free up money to help fund projects like the football-only facility, like the Plainsman Park upgrades that recently were put on hold, like a centralized sports-medicine hub." Still, Greene is "quick to quell speculation that Auburn's finances are flagging." He said that this effort "really is about re-allocation" (RIVALS.com, 6/27).
ONE OF A KIND: In Alabama, Justin Lee noted Auburn was the only athletics department in the country this year to "send teams to a college football Division I FBS bowl win, the men’s basketball Final Four and the baseball College World Series." It was just the "fourth time a school has ever accomplished that feat" since the CWS began in '47. Former Auburn AD David Housel said, "Across the board, you would have to say this is one of Auburn’s finest years. ... While football is still the bellcow at Auburn, and always will be, you would be hard-pressed to find a year that all the other sports had this kind of attention" (Opelika-Auburn NEWS, 6/27).