COLLEGE STATION, Texas — As Athletic departments around the country scramble to adjust for budget shortcomings, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Texas A&M is not yet ready to take any kind of drastic action like cutting athletic programs altogether.
Cincinnati and Old Dominion University are just two of the universities that have cut athletic programs. Earlier this week, Division II St. Edwards University, in Austin, cut six of their athletic programs.
in his bi-weekly conference call Texas A&M Athletic Director Ross Bjork said there is a lot that still needs to be figured out, and that is not on the table for Texas A&M, at this point.
“You sort of have a mid tier budget that maybe you’re not playing games with fans in the stands and that would cause some dramatic cuts and things like that,” he said. “Then you have the worst case scenario, and really it’s way too early to map out what even that looks like. I can’t fathom how you would even operate under that scenario so we haven’t really gone down that far yet because again we have some time. We need more clarity, but we don’t anticipate that we’d have to do anything with our sports.”
The plummeting price of oil is also a cause for concern all around the state of Texas. Athletic programs and Universities are not immune from the bottom out of the barrel. Sizable donations to A&M and other institutions come from those in the oil business, and Bjork knows donations like those will take a hit.
“You’re going to be impacted and how do we deal with and that’s the key,” he said. “How do we deal with them, how do we have that compassion, that interaction the flexibility. That’s what we’ll adapt to as much as anything, is working with them, as best we can.”
Bjork said he is confident those donors who are hit hard in these financial times will bounce back.
Bjork also said that he has not approached any of his coaches about taking a reduction in their salary, at this point.