Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 27 No. 28
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.

Ohio State Projects $107M Budget Deficit For FY '21

Ohio State projects revenue of about $73M for an operating budget of $180M in FY '21

The Ohio State athletic department projects a $107M "deficit because of the COVID-19 pandemic" in its budget for FY '21, according to front-page piece by Rabinowitz & Kaufman of the COLUMBUS DISPATCH. Ohio State said its 36-sport program, the largest in the country, "will remain intact," with scholarships fully funded. In its "conservative estimate," Ohio State projects revenue of about $73M for an operating budget of $180M in FY '21. That "does not include media-rights revenue, which is still to be determined by the Big Ten Conference and its television partners." The '21 budget "will include department-wide budget cuts, furloughs and other reductions." Twenty-five full-time athletics positions "will be eliminated." Coaching positions "are not among them." Forty-seven contracted employees -- including Ohio State AD Gene Smith, head coaches, football assistants, some assistants from other sports and top administrators -- "have voluntarily agreed to take 5% reductions in their base salaries." Furloughs of varying lengths "will be required of 345 employees" (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 9/24).

SHEDDING WEIGHT: In Columbus, Hayleigh Colombo noted the Ohio State athletic department yesterday announced cuts and savings totaling $36M. Even with those cuts, the school is "still projecting a $107 million deficit for the year." Ohio State earned $34M "from football media rights" in '19 (, 9/23). Colombo in a separate piece noted Smith "acknowledged that the department's spending habits will have to adjust due to the new reality." Smith: "Everything is going to be different moving forward." For example, Ohio State is "looking to take a bus" to its football game against Michigan State this fall instead of flying. Smith also announced that $3.4M in "football game-day expenses have been cut." The athletic department "will take out a loan from the university in order to meet its budget deficit," and that "will have to be paid back over the next several years but it's unclear whether the loan will have interest" (, 9/23).