The Idaho State Board of Education voted Wednesday at its meeting in Boise to delay a decision on the University of Idaho’s request for a waiver to use more institutional support toward athletics.
The next board meeting is April 19-20 in Moscow.
Idaho had requested to use a larger portion of the money given by the state to the university allotted for athletics. The current cap is $5.188 million for general funds, gender equity and institutional support, which capped at $949,500 per year.
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The school was requesting an additional $1 million to be used under the institutional support umbrella for the next four years. The school said the additional allotted money would go to help the transition from the Football Bowl Subdivision to the Football Championship Subdivision in the fall of 2018.
The State Board’s decision to table the decision was largely based on a lack of a clear plan of how it will eliminate the deficit going forward. It was not requesting additional money from the state, just more than is currently allowed to be used for athletic usage.
Among the reasons cited by Idaho for needing the increase is a drop in guaranteed game revenue, student fees and in donations from alumni. Idaho said scheduling more regionally resulted in a $525,000 decrease in guaranteed game money, that student fees will decrease by $315,750 and athletics donations are down approximately $350,000.
The school’s vice president of finance, Brian Foisy, said the department’s working deficit is approximately $900,000 and that the first of its kind move means plenty of unknowns still to be seen.
“Life in a post-FCS decision world, to be frank with the Board, we’re not really sure what that’s going to look like,” Foisy said.
▪ In other Idaho-related news, a request to add the Idaho Arena project to the school’s six-year Capital Plan was approved. The $30 million project will create a new basketball and volleyball home for the Vandals, seating between 4,000 and 5,000 fans. The project requires $20 million in donations, a tough ask already with a drop after the FCS move.
▪ An extension for Boise State gymnastics co-head coach Neil Resnick was approved after the Broncos finished last season in the top 20, triggering an additional year. His deal now runs through the 2019 season, paying him a base salary of $81,800 annually.