We truly do feel for UNM (and NMSU’s) sports programs, especially those (like UNM football) who have been living in limbo because of the Gov.’s orders. Of course, that “limbo” (and the likely loss of fan attendance revenues for Lobo basketball) isn’t going to do much for the athletics budget looking forward.
But, UNM is generally both too powerful and too unaccountable and the decision to essentially forgive the debts incurred by the athletics department by folding them into the overall UNM budget is unfortunate.
Amazingly, the University has (according to the Journal) “At the end of the 2020 fiscal year, the university had about $346 million in plant fund reserves.” This is the fund out of which the deficit will be paid.
While reducing athletics isn’t enough to make UNM a “lean and mean” entity, folding money-losing “extras” into the overall budget is a way to undermine accountability, a point that we made when a similar move was made with the City of Albuquerque’s golf courses.