UH athletics department expects $2M loss for fiscal year


HONOLULU — The University of Hawaii’s athletics department expects to post a $2 million loss when the fiscal year ends June 30, its director said.

Athletics Director Ben Jay said he’s trying to keep the deficit under $2 million but has some flexibility from Chancellor Tom Apple, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Wednesday.

Football revenues were just over $900,000, coming in lower than expected after a one-win season. The 21-team, $33 million department has also had rising costs.

Apple had previously asked the athletic department to not run a deficit of more than $1 million for the next three years while it tries to get back to solvency. Apple made the comments one year ago while forgiving a $14.7 million deficit that had been built up by the department over 12 years.

“I mean, $1 million was always the goal (and) we’re doing our utmost to try and meet that goal. But we’re not going to get there this year,” Jay said.

Jay told university regents in February that the department has focused on trying to cut expenses.

“I have asked all our coaches to cut where they could,” he said. “But, in all honesty, there just isn’t much fat on the bones.”

He asked teams to cut 5 percent to 10 percent of their costs, Jay said. Nearly 90 percent of the department’s expenses are fixed costs, including salaries, benefits, scholarships and travel.

The department has profited only twice in the last 10 years.