A for Athlete


Mid-American Conference tightens sports budget[]

June 2009

Continuing the growing trend of budget tightening, the Mid-American Conference announced a series of measures it will take beginning next year to cut its costs.

The council of presidents, which is comprised of every MAC school's president and headed by Jo Ann Gora, approved several recommendations that would cut the conference's budget by about $100,000. Some of the changes include not printing conference media guides (online guides will be available), ending men's and men's basketball media days and luncheons and creating a minimum one-year halt on giving student-athletes gifts at the 23 MAC-sponsored championships.

MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said the cuts were a good starting place for the conference.

"We found a way to save some and that's a start," Steinbrecher said. "The whole area of cost containment is something the entire league needs to continue to work toward."

Ball State University athletic director Tom Collins said he is pleased with the changes the conference has made.

"We have to responsible in this day and age without hurting the student-athlete," Collins said.

Collins said rising travel costs have caused the conference to find ways to cut costs in other areas.

The committee also voted to find another possible venue for the men and women's basketball conference tournament. Steinbrecher said the conference would put together a document and send it to facilities in cities such as Indianapolis and Fort Wayne, Grand Rapids in Mich., Toledo, Ohio and Dayton, Ohio. Which venue the MAC chooses will depend on how suitable the facility is and how willing they are to negotiate with the conference, Steinbrecher added.

For football, the GMAC Bowl in Mobile, Ala., which Ball State played in last season, will receive the first pick of bowl eligible teams in the conference to invite to its bowl for three of the next five season. The Motor City Bowl in Detroit will continue to have first pick in 2010 and again in 2012.

Steinbrecher said there is no specific reason why the GMAC will now get the first pick for those three years, but it was the way the contracts were negotiated.

The final decision handed down by the council was to continue holding the women's volleyball tournament at the SeaGate Centre in Toledo.

These decisions were recommended at a conference held earlier in the spring in which every athletic director in the MAC met to come up with the recommendations.

MAC cuts

The MAC made cuts on Monday to save about $100,000, commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said. Below are the budget cuts the MAC made.

• Media guides will no longer be printed, but will still be available online.

• Men's and women's basketball will no longer have media day or luncheons.

• Athletes will not receive gifts during any of the 23 MAC championships.