Athletics Fee Increase Request Voted Down

The athletics department’s original request of a $90 annual increase — an addition to the existing $274.50 fee — was halved in negotiations over two weeks in October. The department had asked for $45 to cover scholarships for out-of-state athletes and $45 for operating and recruiting budgets for nonrevenue sports. The request later was reduced to half that, all for scholarships.

The request stemmed in part from the N.C. General Assembly’s 2010 decision to eliminate a waiver for scholarship athletes that had enabled them to attend UNC at in-state tuition rates. That change increased the athletics department’s cost of scholarships.

At the time the request was halved, Senior Associate Athletics Director Martina Ballen ’80 said, “The message we heard back from the students, given the climate and other needs across campus, was the feeling that this wasn’t seen as something that the students needed to fund.” Ballen said compensation for coaches and the operating budget for nonrevenue sports at UNC rank in the bottom third of the ACC. “If we are not able to fund those programs at the level we believe they needed to be funded at, they could slide. We pride ourselves on having a broad-based program, and a successful broad-based program may not be able to see that success going forward.”

The fee committee voted 4-3 to deny the request. The Daily Tar Heel reported that Student Body President Mary Cooper said she couldn’t understand the need for the request in a budget-cutting environment.

In addition to the varsity athletics fee, all students pay a campus recreation fee of $136.57, which covers workout facilities all students can use.

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