LEXINGTON, Ky. (UK Athletics) — The University of Kentucky Athletics Department proposed a budget of $148.5 million for the 2020-21 fiscal year on Thursday. The University Athletics Committee recommended approval of the budget proposal to the Board of Trustees, which will consider it as part of the overall University of Kentucky budget in its business meeting on Friday.
“Our goal in building our budget for the upcoming fiscal year was to respond to the unique climate brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic while avoiding adverse effects on the welfare of our student-athletes and reductions to our coaches and staff,” Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. “To do that will require sacrifice. We also must be ready to adjust in an ever-changing landscape.”
The proposed budget is based on UK Athletics’ current plan to host events as scheduled. The budget has been adjusted to account for a projected decrease in ticket revenue.
UK Athletics reduced its budget accordingly, focusing on adjusted operational expenses that do not affect student-athlete welfare. From those expenses – totaling $37.1 million after reductions – UK Athletics reduced by approximately 17% ($7.6 million). Reductions are detailed in documents presented to the University Athletics Committee on Thursday.
UK Athletics remains a rarity in college athletics: an athletics department that not only operates a balanced budget self-sufficiently with the help of no state or university funds or student fees, but also contributes a significant portion of its revenue to university initiatives. This proposed budget does nothing to change that fact, providing for the funding of the debt service on nearly two-thirds of the recently opened Jacobs Science Building and the funding of non-athletics scholarships. UK Athletics also continues to pay full in-state and out-of-state tuition rates on scholarships for all student-athletes, which are set to total $18.6 million in 2020-21.
UK Athletics also continues to actively monitor the situation surrounding COVID-19. Should any developments necessitate further budget adjustments, UK Athletics will work in close collaboration with its university partners.