Colleges

UTSA looks to grow athletics budget ahead of move to AAC

UTSA has set a target of expanding its budget to $40M by '25, but that figure would still leave it well short of top AAC schoolsGETTY IMAGES

UTSA's athletics budget has "increased from about $30 million two years ago to $35 million" in '21, as school President Taylor Eighmy set "a target of reaching $40 million" by '25, according to Greg Luca of the SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS. Still, with UTSA joining the AAC, even a projected increase of $5M or $10M "has the potential to leave the Roadrunners lagging behind." In FY '19-20, UTSA ranked "11th of 13 reporting C-USA schools." While the $40M target by '25 is “separate from any new media benefit from the American,” the figure still "leaves UTSA short of the conference’s upper echelon." However, the AAC’s release on UTSA’s admission "trumpeted an 'expansive athletics capital projects effort,' including a 10,000-seat basketball and volleyball arena, new baseball and softball stadiums, a training facility for basketball and volleyball and upgraded facilities for soccer and track and field." But those aims have "long been on the docket for UTSA." Eighmy said that he and Roadrunner Foundation President Gene Dawson discuss "the need to expand athletics budgets and facilities on what seems like a 'daily basis'" (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 10/24).

RISING FOOTBALL POWER: In Austin, Kirk Bohls wrote UTSA football has "grown up fast with a transformation at lightning speed." UTSA could be the next Boise State or Coastal Carolina or UCF." Bohls: "College football's next big thing. Why not?" The school is "situated perfectly in the nation’s seventh-largest city," and it is "rapidly growing with more than 34,000 students." The football team is "one of just 11 remaining unbeaten FBS teams out of 130," and they are "ranked for the first time in school history," currently standing at No. 23 in the AP poll. UTSA will join six other newcomers and begin play in the AAC "maybe as soon as 2023" (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 10/24).

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