Dec. 1, 2000
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - A motion to eliminate the Western Kentucky University men's golf and men's tennis programs as a cost-saving measure in the Athletic Department failed and was not approved at a special meeting of the WKU Board of Regents held Friday morning in Bowling Green.
The meeting followed the board's Oct. 27 action to increase the student fee for athletics and the subsequent request from the board that the Athletic Department make every effort to reduce expenses and balance its budget. In response to the board's directive, the recommended program cuts were offered which, according to projections presented by Athletics Director Dr. Wood Selig, would have reduced the Athletic Department's annual deficit by 25 percent.
"On Oct. 27, the board made it very clear that the Athletic Department needed to make some tough decisions relative to reducing our expenses," Selig said. "Today's decision, which will allow men's golf and men's tennis to compete beyond this spring season, illustrates the value which the Board of Regents holds for all of our student-athletes and our athletic programs at Western Kentucky University."
"This decision will have a positive influence in the long run," board member Ronald Sheffer said. "I look at our athletic programs as a public relations tool which sells the image of the University. I'm not in favor of any sort of change to that image, especially when there is not enough money involved to justify such a change."
Western currently offers 19 intercollegiate athletic programs, with the 20th sport, women's soccer, scheduled to debut on the Hill in the fall of 2001. The introduction of women's soccer at WKU will give the University 10 men's and 10 women's programs.
"I pledge my support to the board that, through the increased student fee and the ongoing efforts to attract additional private and corporate support, the Athletic Department will be able to live within its means," Selig added. "We look forward to putting the issue of athletic program reduction behind us and moving forward in our support of all of our athletic programs."