"It is the aim of this new policy to place our athletic program on the same basis as the other activities of the University which are largely supported by endowment. The President and Fellows have agreed that they will endeavor to build up during the coming years an endowment fund for athletics,--a capital fund, the income of which will eventually become the support of intercollegiate and intramural sports. Gifts for this fund will be welcomed and it is expected that each year the Corporation will be able to set aside some money towards this fund.
"We wish to got away as soon as possible from the vicious connection between football gate receipts and expenditures for the athletic program. It seems essential that we should have an athletic policy which will aim at removing the danger which now hangs over our head like a sword of Damocles,--the danger of another drastic loss of Income from the football gate receipts which have since the war provided on the average more than 80 per cent of our income for athletics.
Hand To Mouth Policy No Solution
"Let me remind you of the extent of this potential liability. Even during the past fall the net receipts from football amounted to $292,000 as compared with our total budget of $365,000. The maximum gate receipts were reached in 1929 when they totaled $706,000. The fall has been practically 60 per cent. Another fall of even 20 per cent would mean a serious deficit if the present rate of expenditure were continued, and a continued and sustained downward trend would seriously threaten the entire athletic program. With the uncertainties of the present economic situation, no one charged with the responsibility of the finances of this University can face such a possibility with anything but alarm. A hand to mouth policy is no solution. The only satisfactory answer is to be found in drastic reductions in expenses and a sustained effort to build up an endowment fund.
Only Four Per Cent Affected
"To be specific, during the coming year the budget will be reduced by some $20,000 which can be found, Mr. Bingham assures me, by drastic economics but without eliminating support of any of the present programs except golf, and it is expected that similar economics can realize an additional saving of an equal sum during the two years following. Further than this, in the course of the three years following the present academic year, financial support will be withdrawn from the following six minor sports: cross country, lacrosse, soccer, wrestling, boxing, and fencing, and these sports will be put on an informal basis. The net cost of these sports is about $20,000 and they are participated in by only 4 per cent of the student body. In terms of a full year of participation they cost on the average more than $125 per participant. The minor sports which will be left, namely swimming, tennis, squash, and basketball attract many more students. The cost per participant is relatively low,--about $18 per full year; and the first three are the sports which are most often continued by individuals after graduation. The cost of compulsory Freshman athletics will be transferred to the budget of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, since this is a requirement voted by this Faculty, and this is a proper charge to this portion of the University.
"I should like to emphasize the fact that the intramural sports and in particular inter-House athletics will be fostered as before. Even those minor intercollegiate sports from which support will be withdrawn may well continue on an intramural basis."