The State Board of Education on Thursday approved a request from Boise State University to increase its annual athletics spending limit for the 2022 fiscal year by more than $2 million, to $7,682,000.
In 2019, when the board had a change in its policy around setting limits for athletics, BSU did not ask for a spending increase.
At that time, Lewis-Clark State College, University of Idaho and Idaho State University all requested increases ranging from $12,000 to $1,915,200, according to the State Board meeting minutes.
Mark Heil, Boise State’s vice president and chief financial officer, said that in 2019, Boise State could “manage a competitive, yet not extravagant, athletics program under the current spending limit,” according to the minutes.
“But now, COVID has damaged the finances of Boise State,” State Board Vice President David Hill during the board meeting Thursday.
Hill noted that the board limits the amount of public money that can be used to help the athletics programs at public universities and colleges in Idaho.
According to the board’s policy, the limits are calculated yearly “based on the rate of change for the next fiscal year of ongoing State appropriated funds compared to the ongoing State appropriated funds in the current fiscal year, unless set through Board action.”
During this week’s meeting, the board also approved a $4.5 million request from Boise State to start to plan and design a new housing project for freshman.
Becca Savransky covers education for the Idaho Statesman in partnership with Report for America. The position is partly funded through community support. Click here to donate.