WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Less than a year after a UNCW committee recommended eliminating a number of athletics programs to cut costs, university leaders report a spike in private support.
In May, Intercollegiate Athletics Review Committee proposed cutting the men's indoor track/cross country, men's and women's swimming/diving and softball teams, but Chancellor Gary Miller decided to keep the programs alive.
The athletics budget ended last year with a deficit of more than $400,000. Officials vowed to break even this year by reducing expenses, putting off upgrades and increasing revenue.
In a quarterly report sent last week to the UNCW Board of Trustees, Athletics Director Jimmy Bass explained that Seahawk Club donations were up 92 percent year to date at the end of 2013. And in the same year membership in the club totaled 1,068, exceeding the goal of 750.
Fundraising for athletics July 1 through the end of January was $726,315, an increase of 46 percent over the same period last year, according to Eddie Stuart, vice chancellor of university advancement.
He explained a major priority this year will be a long-range plan for athletics facilities.
Last week, UNCW announced it was discontinuing men's indoor track and field starting in the fall. Officials said the decision was to keep the university in compliance with federal Title IX regulations dealing with gender
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