AMES — Iowa State athletics director Jamie Pollard sent a letter to Cyclone fans thanking them for their “many emails, phone calls and text messages during the past week” after the school announced it would not allow fans at the football opener Sept. 12 against Louisiana.
“It is easy to have answers in challenging times but very difficult to have solutions,” he wrote. “Now that we have an answer (no fans at football), we begin the painful process of identifying financial solutions to reconcile the impact of our decisions.”
He noted a $30 million deficit because of the decision to not allow fans.
“Unfortunately, the athletics department does not have the ability to absorb that level of deficit,” he wrote.
Among the recommendations going forward are layoffs and/or additional payroll reductions, eliminating sports and closing C.Y. Stephens Auditorium.
“We will begin the process of evaluating what sport(s), if any, could be eliminated to help solve the financial shortfalls,” he wrote. “Any decision to drop a sport must take into account Federal Title IX laws. Although dropping a sport(s) will not have a direct impact on the current financial challenges (i.e., current scholarships and employment contracts would need to be honored), future annual savings from the elimination of a sport(s) could help pay the university back for any short-term funding provided to solve this year’s budget deficit.
“... These are difficult times, but it is our reality.”