According to a recent report, the University of Arizona has announced that it will not eliminate any of its sports programs in an effort to address financial challenges leading up to the school’s transition from the Pac-12 to the Big 12.
On Thursday, Dave Heeke, the athletic director of Arizona, shared a financial update regarding the department’s strategies amid their financial crisis.
According to Heeke, “Our efforts to strengthen Arizona’s athletic department as a top program come with a price. Similar to other leading programs nationwide, we are currently dealing with financial difficulties that we are actively working towards resolving.”
As part of the strategy, Arizona athletics will maintain a freeze on hiring that was implemented earlier this fall and will temporarily halt all significant construction projects upon the completion of a new golf center. The department will also reduce budgets in non-essential areas while prioritizing the health and welfare of student-athletes, and aiming to increase revenue and investments in important areas.
Next year, the Pac-12 will experience a major shift as four schools, namely Arizona, Arizona State, Utah, and Colorado, will be departing for the Big 12. This change is part of a larger disintegration of the Pac-12, as UCLA, USC, Washington, and Oregon will also be leaving for the Big 10, while Stanford and Cal will join the ACC.
During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Arizona’s athletic department received a loan of $55 million which, according to the Arizona Daily Star, has not been repaid in a timely manner. The challenges faced by the department are a result of a larger deficit in the university’s budget.