Kent State to conduct sweeping review of athletics program


KENT, Ohio (AP) — Kent State University is undertaking a sweeping look at its athletics program that
could include deciding whether any sports should be cut.

The goal is seeing where the athletic department fits within the changing landscape of Division I sports,
the Akron Beacon Journal reported for a story Tuesday ( ).

"Everything is on the table," athletic director Joel Nielsen told the paper. "You can’t go
into an assessment protected or it wouldn’t be a true assessment."

The university is paying $35,000 to West End, North Carolina-consulting firm Collegiate Sports Associates
for the study, which was pushed for by Kent State President Beverly Warren.

The company has been interviewing board trustees, athletes and alumni and conducting an online survey.

The study comes at a time of national debate about financial support for scholarship athletes.

Over the weekend, the so-called Big Five athletic conferences used newly granted autonomy to pass NCAA
legislation that increases the value of an athletic scholarship by several thousand dollars to cover the
federally determined actual cost of attendance.

It could cost Kent State up to $1.1 million a year if it covered the actual cost of attendance for all
its student athletes, the university said.

People don’t realize that athletic scholarships often don’t cover the full cost of attendance and that
not all of them are full scholarships, said Marvin Logan, president of Kent State’s undergraduate
student government and a former track and field athlete who participated in the survey.

Schools with less money are often forced to compete under conditions created by wealthy conferences, said
Todd Turner, head of Collegiate Sports Associates.

Because schools outside the Big Five can’t derive the same dollars from TV and postseason play,
"they are stressed as institutions to subsidize their athletics programs from institutional dollars
and student fees," Turner said.

Kent State, with a $26 million athletics budget, has about 425 student-athletes and 18 varsity programs.
It’s a member of the Mid-American Conference.


Information from: Akron Beacon Journal,

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