Athletics tightening belt in response to budget cuts

The athletics department, feeling the pressure of campus-wide budget cuts, is making adjustments with frugality in mind. But a university official said the budget cuts won’t affect the performance of the department.

Jack Hesselbrock, associate athletics director for internal relations, said the athletics department will experience the budget cuts starting in June as part of a campus-wide effort to slash 8 percent from the budget. The department is working on minimizing the effects on its teams, Hesselbrock said.

“The one thing that we will not do is anything that will directly impact the student athlete,” Hesselbrock said.

The coaches have been understanding of the budget cut because of the current state of the economy, Hesselbrock said.

Among the coaches’ concerns is that the budget doesn’t affect students, the quality of the department or the standard associated with TCU athletics, Hesselbrock said.

The quality of medical care, travel arrangements and equipment used for the athletic programs will not be affected by budget cuts, Hesselbrock said.

Recruiting for athletic teams will also not be affected, Hesselbrock said.

The department is coming up with ideas to be more frugal, such as ordering team equipment in bulk, planning travel arrangements further in advance and scheduling competitions with competitors who are nearby, Hesselbrock said.

“For instance, the baseball team would maybe play UTA an extra series rather than go to Nebraska to play a series,” Hesselbrock said.

Danny Morrison, athletics director, said student athletes will not be negatively affected by having more regional, closer competitions. He said the level of competition will not decrease for the respective athletic teams.

Hesselbrock said the athletics department is more focused on what people can do to lessen the blow of the budget cuts than what the cuts are taking away.

“I think that TCU has always been supportive of what we are doing and there has never been a sense that we are being asked to do something that the rest of campus has not,” Hesselbrock said.

Athletic Media Relations would not allow the Skiff to interview coaches or athletes for this story.