Ohio State Announces Fundraising Campaign To Help With Costs
Ohio State’s athletic department announced a fundraising campaign "aimed at supporting some of its critical expenditures," as it is "faced with tens of millions of dollars in revenue losses" due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to Joey Kaufman of the COLUMBUS DISPATCH. The initiative, called “Higher Purpose,” is "pursuing donations that will be put toward an athletics excellence fund." The department identified "nine critical areas that support athletes" across 36 varsity sports teams, the most sponsored by any major-conference athletic department in the country. OSU AD Gene Smith has said that the school has "no plans to drop any sports despite a sizeable budget hole related to the pandemic." Kaufman notes OSU projected an operating deficit of $107M "over the current fiscal year," budgeting $73.3M for operating revenues and $180.8M for operating expenses. This "did not include potential media rights revenues that could be realized" if OSU is able to play a football season this fall "without significant interruptions." The athletic department also is "pursuing a loan from the university to help manage its deficit," but "no terms have been finalized." Smith said that the loan is "expected to be repaid over a period of time" (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 10/16).