UNCW wants to scale back play-for-pay basketball games - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

UNCW wants to scale back play-for-pay basketball games

The UNCW mens basketball team will earn $360,000 for four away games this season. The UNCW mens basketball team will earn $360,000 for four away games this season.
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) -

The head of UNCW athletics says the school's basketball players are spending too much time playing away games for money.

The mens team will face four non-conference teams this season in so-called “guarantee games.” Win or lose, the Seahawks are guaranteed a check.

The university will bank a total of $360,000 for playing Louisville, Minnesota, Ohio and Davidson.

Last year, the team earned $392,500 for participating in the Roundball Classic and for traveling to Iowa, Iowa State and UNC-Chapel Hill.

After the Seahawks fell to the Tar Heels last season, UNC Coach Roy Williams said he sympathized with his UNCW counterpart.

“What Buzz Peterson's got is not an easy situation,” Williams said of the former coach. “Look at that schedule, 17 road games…and he's got to try to make enough money to help their program.”

UNCW Athletics Director Jimmy Bass is asking university trustees to consider increasing student athletic fees so the Seahawks can afford to play fewer guarantee games.

“It's not fair to our basketball student athletes, men and women, to have to go on the road and play at a competitive disadvantage and always play on somebody else's home court - to be away from class,” Bass said.

Under the proposal, the $655 athletics fee would increase to $683 in 2015 and $725 in 2016.

During a presentation Thursday, trustees were told the fee increase would boost the department's overall financial stability and help with staffing needs and scholarships.

But Bass stresses he doesn't want to balance the athletics budget on the backs of students. He said the department will continue to grow donations, ticket sales and corporate sponsorships.

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