WKU Conference Switch Won't Create a Self-Sufficient Athletic Department

By Lauren Forsythe | 

It was a unanimous vote from the WKU Board of Regents Monday to formally move forward with the university's membership into Conference USA.

The change in conferences will cost WKU $2 million, but President Gary Ransdell says the money will come from private donations.

By announcing the switch more than a year ahead of time, the university avoided a $1 million exit fee from the Sun Belt Conference.

Dr. Ransdell says the switch will give the university more money from advertising, but it won't be enough for the athletic department to become self-sufficient.

"There are only about 20 programs in the United States that are self sufficient in their athletic program and we are not one of them because we don't have the seating capacity for football or basketball or the ticket pricing to cause that to be the case," Dr. Ransdell says.

While Dr. Ransdell says Conference USA will increase the revenue coming into the athletic department, but it won't change where money is budgeted to.

Right now, some of the student fees are budgeted to the athletic department, Ransdell expects that won't change.

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