Report: Arizona considers cutting some sports programs

Field Level Media

November 10, 2023 at 5:14 pm.

A $240 million budget shortage could lead to the elimination of some varsity sports programs at the University of Arizona, multiple outlets reported.

University president Robert Robbins disclosed the possibility of layoffs and other cost-cutting measures during a faculty senate meeting Monday, according to Tucson.com.

“Everything is on the table in terms of dealing with athletics,” Robbins said, per the reports. “This is an issue that is going to require a lot of tough decisions.”

Arizona currently has 23 varsity sports. The Wildcats are moving next year from the Pac-12 to the Big 12, where the average member school fields just 17 teams.

The athletic department’s current budget of approximately $100 million is covered by about $40 million from the Pac-12, $30 million from ticket sales and the rest from philanthropy and contracts, according to Robbins.

One of the concerns raised during Monday’s meeting was a $55 million loan made by the university to the athletic department during the COVID-19 pandemic. Robbins said the loan “has not been paid back fast enough.”