Football: FAU proposes increasing athletic fee by 5 percent

Rolando Rosa

With a 1-11 football team, some say, things can only go up.

They might be — just not on the scoreboard.

Instead, FAU is proposing to raise the athletic fee by 5 percent starting in the fall semester. At $16.45 per credit hour, FAU currently has the highest fee in the state for a school with a football program. The increase would raise the fee to $17.27 per credit hour and bring in $508,400 for the 2012-2013 academic year, according to a proposal the Board of Trustees will look over at this Thursday’s meeting.

The reason the university may want to do this, is because, in the loan agreement for FAU Football Stadium, there is a stipulation requiring 5 percent of the student athletic fee collected each fiscal year going towards paying off the stadium debt. The hike in the athletic fee this year would help to offset the 5 percent of student fees pledged to Regions Bank when the stadium was funded.

Despite the football team not winning a bowl game since 2008, and men’s basketball only reaching the NCAA Tournament once (2002), the university believes the hike is necessary.

From the Audit and Finance Committee: “A review of athletic programs at FAU reveals a continuation of this excellence will require additional funding to assure that scholarship dollars are available and that student athletes can remain in school.”

The proposed increase in athletic fees comes just a month after Florida Legislature voted to cut $24.7 million from FAU’s university-wide budget for the 2012-2013 academic year.